Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions – May 9, 2022
Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Odds
|Celtics Win Percentage||50%|
|Bucks Win Percentage||50%|
|Game Date & Time||May 9, 7:30 p.m. ET|
Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Betting Preview
I went into Game 3 expecting that it was going to be a “coin flip” type of a game and it proved to be exactly that. With four seconds left, the Boston Celtics were down two points with Marcus Smart at the free throw line and he perfectly executed an intentional missed free throw that was almost tipped in to send the game into overtime. Needless to say, the tip-in was a fraction of a second too late and the Celtics lost by two — pushing the point spread of +2 but losing outright.
With that win, the Milwaukee Bucks retained home-court advantage and now have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead with a win tonight. That said, in my Game 3 preview, I wrote that my strategy for this series in Game 3 and 4 was going to be to bet the Celtics on the moneyline, assuming that this series will be tied 2-2 heading back to Boston for Game 5. I’m sticking to that.
This series has been the epitome of the “zig-zag theory” thus far — a tried and true NBA playoffs betting strategy where you wager on the team that lost outright in the game before to cover the spread. Neither team has managed to win two in a row yet in this series and I don’t see that changing here in this must-win Game 4 for the Celtics.
When it comes to betting on the NBA playoffs, I am a big believer in positive and negative regression and the Bucks don’t have a better game in them than the one they just played. Likewise, the Celtics don’t have a worse game in them.
The Bucks’ best player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was virtually unstoppable finishing with 42 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists — 2 shy of a triple-double. The Bucks had great contributions from their role players, as you would expect with them playing in their home gym. Jrue Holiday had a very efficient 25-point game, Pat Connaughton contributed from the 3-point line and Bobby Portis had a big impact on both ends of the floor.
Meanwhile, the Celtics’ best player — Jayson Tatum — was ice cold, shooting a putrid 4-19 from the field. Marcus Smart hit only one shot from the field the entire game and had an uncharacteristically poor defensive game guarding Holiday. Grant Williams struggled from beyond the arc, only making one of his six attempts and couldn’t stop Antetokounmpo from scoring at will. Jaylen Brown, who made six 3-pointers in Game 2, went only 1-6 from beyond the arc.
Giannis can’t play much better and I’m expecting bounce-back games from all of the Boston stars. Tatum is a legitimate superstar who is poised to take that next step into the stratosphere this postseason — I look for him to make serious amends tonight after just having one of the worst games of his career.
I’m expecting a similar bounce-back performance from Smart on both ends of the floor; now in his second game back from injury. Grant Williams has shown the ability to hit 3-pointers (6-9 in Game 2) and defend Antetokounmpo as well as anybody in the league. I look for him to do both in this one. Jaylen Brown is certainly primed to hit more than one 3-pointer in this game.
It’s not just individual players who are primed to play better for the Celtics in Game 4. Their team defense is primed to be much better as well. The Celtics were the No. 1 defense in the league for a reason and, after just giving up 42 to Antetokounmpo in a losing effort, I look for them to go back to aggressively trapping him more, something that really limited his efficiency in the first two games.
It’s not even like they played that poor of defense in Game 3 — the Bucks offensively just continuously hit very difficult, low percentage shots — something that is very unlikely to repeat. Unlike the Bucks, the Celtics have a MUCH better game in them than the one we just saw.
Despite the loss in Game 3, the Celtics are still 5-0-1 against the spread in their last six tries as an underdog (counting Game 3 as a push). They have also been terrific at bouncing back from a loss — 21-12 straight up, including 1-0 in the playoffs. Even more impressive, since January (when the Celtics started playing their best ball of the season) — they are 8-1 SU off a loss. This is a team that hasn’t lost very often and has bounced back VERY well off a poor showing.
Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Betting Pick
Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Prediction
I still believe the Celtics are going to win this series, and if they do, this game is virtually a must-win game. They cannot afford to go down 3-1 to the defending champions and be in a position where they have to win three straight games.
The Celtics have responded well to adversity all year. With their backs very much against the wall here, I look for them to rise to the occasion behind a stifling defensive performance and take care of business with a series saving win.
I’m taking the Celtics on the moneyline.
Celtics 106, Bucks 98
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