NBA Bubble Tip-Off Opening Lines: Bucks vs Celtics

SI Gambling insider Corey Parson continues his inside look at the early opening lines for the return of the NBA season. Today, he’s breaking down the odds for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics.
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On paper, the day two bubble game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics looks like a marquee matchup between two teams that could end up in the Eastern Conference Finals. In actuality, this game is nothing more than a glorified exhibition.

Both the Celtics and Bucks are pretty much locked into their respective seeds. It will be hard to determine the rotation of these teams for the seeding rounds. Let’s dive into the matchup.

Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics

Point Spread: Bucks -5

Total: 216

Moneyline: Celtics +174

Season Series: 1-1

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Bucks vs Celtics Betting Breakdown

The Bucks and the Celtics may have the chance to play in meaningful games once the NBA playoffs start, but this game will not count for much other than a tune-up.

Normally, I’d consider passing on a game like this since it's tough to figure out how many minutes players will play. But in conditions where both teams don’t have much to play for, I’m more inclined to lean towards the underdog.

Both of these teams were rolling along this year. Milwaukee has the best record in the NBA and Giannis Antetokounmpo was well on his way to another MVP season. Boston, however, looks like a real contender in the Eastern Conference as they swapped out Kyrie Irving for Kemba Walker this offseason.

The Celtics are currently the third seed in the East and have an outside shot at catching the Toronto Raptors for the second seed. Additionally, the Miami Heat have an outside shot at catching Boston for the third seed but I would expect the top of the East to look like how it does today when the playoffs start: Milwaukee, Toronto, Boston, Miami.

Boston and Milwaukee met twice during the regular season with each team winning at home. I will take the points with the Celtics in this game simply because I don't see either team having enough at stake to go full steam. These two teams have a good shot at meeting each other in the conference finals, and if that happens, it will make for a very compelling series.

The Play: Celtics +5 (-110)

Injury News Sends Beal to the Bench:

Time to pour one out for Wizards futures bettors.

With Bradley Beal sitting out the season with a shoulder injury, the big Wizards bet I wrote about as a huge 8-seed future bet now has very little to stand on.

Additionally, Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie will not be joining his team in Orlando as he tries to recover from COVID-19. As of now, FanDuel Sportsbook has the Brooklyn Nets at -190 to win the 8th seed in the East. Brooklyn should back into that spot, but I'm not laying almost 1:2 odds on a team without its core group of players.

The Wizards +1400 bet still has an outside chance to hit, but I'm not as confident as I was when Beal was thought to be playing. Remember, “scared money don't make none.”