Even without Khris Middleton, this second-round series has proven to be a battle of two Eastern Conference juggernauts. As such, our NBA betting picks for Game 7 expect one last showdown — leaning on Milwaukee to stay within the 5-point number.
Boston got the road win it needed to force a Game 7 that all basketball fans should be able to enjoy this afternoon.
Jayson Tatum and Giannis Antetokounmpo have traded haymakers throughout this entire series, and there is every reason to think they will both put on one more show today.
With the Celtics as decent-sized favorites at home, Giannis will need some help to continue the Bucks’ title defense.
Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for the Bucks at the Celtics on May 15.
Bucks vs Celtics Game 7 odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Boston opened as a 5- or 5.5-point favorite late Friday night, and that line settled at -5 before long. The total opened at 209.5 and steadily fell to 206.5 by early Saturday afternoon.
Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
Bucks vs Celtics Game 7 predictions
Predictions made on 5/15/2022 at 4:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Bucks vs Celtics Game 7 info
• Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
• Date: Sunday, May 15, 2022
• Tip-off: 3:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ABC
Bucks vs Celtics series odds
Bucks vs Celtics Game 7 betting preview
Bucks: Khris Middleton SF (Out).
Celtics: Robert Williams III C (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
In the last three postseasons, the Celtics have gone 3-2 against the spread and straight up in games in which they could be eliminated from the playoffs, while the Bucks have gone 3-1 ATS and SU in such moments. Find more NBA betting trends for Bucks vs. Celtics.
Bucks vs Celtics Game 7 picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Until the champ is dead, never count out the champ. The Bucks may be down their second-best offensive threat in Khris Middleton, but they have still found ways to stress the best defense in the league this season.
The scoreboard may not reflect that, averaging 100.5 points per game, but realize the Celtics gave up 107.3 points per game in the 22 games after the All-Star break. The lack of drama and urgency of the regular season boosted those numbers, while the absolute intensity of the playoffs has limited what Milwaukee could do in any respect. Reaching triple figures has been impressive all on its own.
But it has not been enough, obviously. Yet today, the Bucks will hardly need to reach 100 to cover the spread. The total of 206.5 and a spread of -5 suggests a final score of 106-101.
Giannis alone will account for more than a third of those Milwaukee points. He has averaged 35.3 points per game this series, adding 6.8 assists and 13.8 rebounds. Backing the Bucks today is backing Giannis. Backing Giannis is backing a two-time MVP and the defending Finals MVP when his back is against the wall.
And backing Giannis is going against Tatum. Consider that a nod to experience. Tatum may be in his fifth year and a game away from his third Conference Finals, but he simply does not have the postseason experience Antetokounmpo does.
Giannis is in his ninth season and seventh postseason, averaging more than 30 points in the playoffs for the second year in a row. Tatum cracked that mark last year but in only a five-game run. He has not played at this high of a level against the absolute best competition for an extended period… yet.
That day will come, but assuming that day is today is bold, especially since the Celtics would need to win by at least six to lend the needed credence to another Tatum explosion.
Furthermore, Boston has been favored by multiple buckets three times in this series. It lost two of those games outright. That -5 or -5.5 just feels like a 3-pointer too much.
Prediction: Bucks +5.5 (-115 at BetMGM)
Covers NBA betting analysis
This is the lowest total of this series. They started at 218.5 in Game 1, but for Games 3-6, they fell between 211.5 and 213.5. Even compared to those suppressed figures, this 206.5 is a low number. Too low.
Defenses may rule the day in this series and especially in a Game 7, but the offensive potential of a close score late should be too much for a total this low.
These two teams have averaged 58.25 points in their last four fourth quarters. Not coincidentally, three of those games came down to the final minutes, and the fourth was a two-possession game with fewer than nine minutes remaining.
Close, tense games boost point totals. That goes against the postseason intuition of physical play and defense, but bucket-getters like Tatum and Giannis still come through.
Prediction: Over 206.5 (-110 at Caesars)
The Celtics moneyline can be had at -200 currently at BetMGM, and Boston should win today, but it would need to keep Giannis out of the lane in the final five minutes to win by at least six. Freight trains are not typically stopped that easily or consistently.
The surest bet in this series is a good game, a close game, and an entertaining final few minutes. Milwaukee won Game 1 handily, and Boston returned that favor in Games 2 and 6. To win those two easily, the Celtics shot 43% from deep (37-of-86 combined). Enjoying such positive shooting variance is obviously unlikely.
Betting on the Bucks to cover today is betting on this series getting the close it deserves, on Giannis playing like the best player in the world, and on the Celtics missing a few more threes. Frankly, all of those seem more likely than not.
Pick: Bucks +5.5 (-115 at BetMGM)
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