Celtics vs. Bucks Game 3 Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions – May 7

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OddsJam StaffMay 7, 2022, 03:45 PM

Celtics vs. Bucks Game 3 Odds

Celtics Moneyline+105
Bucks-125
Celtics Win Percentage44.44%
Bucks Win Percentage55.56%
Celtics Spread+1.5
Bucks Spread-1.5
Bucks-Celtics Total212.5
Game Date & TimeMay 7, 3:30 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Celtics vs. Bucks Game 3 Betting Preview

So far, this series has been a tale of two games. In Game 1, the Milwaukee Bucks came into Boston with a dominating defensive performance, held the Boston Celtics to only 89 points and stole home court.

In Game 2, the Celtics put on a defensive clinic of their own, holding the Bucks to only 86 points, and responded with one of their best wins of the season. Jaylen Brown spearheaded that win with a huge bounce-back performance — he was unstoppable in the first half scoring 22 points before intermission while the Celtics shot the lights out from distance making 20 of their 43 attempts from three.

Now the series heads to Milwaukee and the Bucks are going to have to play much better if they want to avoid falling behind in this series. The Bucks offense goes as Giannis Antetokounmpo goes, and so far through two games that hasn’t been very far. Antetokounmpo has been stifled by the Celtics defense like he has never been before in his career.

In this series, Antetokounmpo is shooting 38% from the floor, the worst of his playoff career by far. Last year in the playoffs in all four series, he averaged 57% from the field. In the Finals against a very strong Phoenix Suns defense, he shot 61%. Even when the Bucks were beaten in the bubble by the Miami Heat in 2020, he shot 55%.

In his last 26 playoff games before this series, he was held to 40% or less shooting in just one time. The Celtics have done it twice in two games. The Celtics defense has put the clamps on the Greek Freak unlike anything he has ever experienced in the playoffs and this is where the loss of Khris Middleton is going to come into play. If Boston can continue to hold Giannis to this level of inefficiency, then the loss of Khris Middleton will likely be their demise.

There was a lot of overreaction to the Celtics’ blow-out home loss in Game 1, but in my Game 2 write-up, I warned against having too much recency bias and overreacting to one single game. Game 1 was a very difficult spot for Boston — the Celtics were coming in off extended rest after a very satisfying sweep of the Brooklyn Nets and showed some rust after that long layoff and it was a rare early 1 p.m. ET start time as well. They also shot at a historically abysmal rate in Game 1 and predictably they had serious positive shooting regression in Game 2.  

This has been a “zig-zag” series thus far with the losing team making adjustments in the next game, but I just don’t see what adjustments the Bucks can make other than simply shooting better from the field. To be fair, the Bucks’ supporting cast should be able to shoot better in Milwaukee on their familiar home rims and the disparity from the 3-point line shouldn’t be as one-sided as Game 2.

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However, the Celtics have gotten a ton of great uncontested looks through the first two games, so as long as they can avoid missing open shots like they did all of Game 1, they should be able to continue to have success as well. I was very confident in my Game 2 predictions, but this is a difficult game to predict. I do think this series will be tied at 2-2 when the Celtics return to Boston for Game 5, so it is just a matter of correctly predicting which game the Celtics are going to win.

Until I see that the Bucks are able to solve the defensive gameplan the Celtics have employed to slow down Giannis, it makes it very difficult to pick them, even if they are playing at home. The Celtics are 8-1 against the spread in their last nine games against the Bucks — it’s just a matchup that they have dominated over the last 10 meetings. The Bucks were one of the worst home favorites in the NBA this season, a money-burning 15-25 (38%) ATS, while the Celtics were the best road team in the league going 27-15 (64%). 

The Celtics will be a small plus-money underdog in each of these two games in Milwaukee and I think it will be a winning strategy to bet on them to win one of these two games. As long as they win one, we will make money. Ideally, they will win this game then we can potentially come back on the Bucks in what will be a must-win Game 4. I am taking the Celtics on the moneyline in Game 3.

Celtics vs. Bucks Game 3 Betting Pick

Pick: Celtics Moneyline (+105) at DraftKings

Celtics vs. Bucks Game 3 Prediction

Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart’s status is still up in the air, but he will likely be back in the lineup while the Bucks will continue to be without the services of Middleton.

Based on what I have seen through the first two games of the series, the Celtics’ road success, and the Bucks’ poor home ATS record, I do not see the Celtics losing this game unless they have another very poor shooting performance similar to Game 1 which is unlikely.

I don’t see it being a blowout with the game being played in Milwaukee, but the Celtics will have the series lead by the time the clock hits double zero.

Celtics 106, Bucks 102

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