Make Some Green By Backing The Green Over The Bucks On Thursday Night

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 12:08 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 12:08 PM UTC

The NBA is back in action after the All-Star break with a battle of Eastern Conference powers set for Thursday night when the Celtics take on the Bucks in Milwaukee.

Boston (37-21 SU, 29-28-1 ATS) vs. Milwaukee (43-14 SU, 34-20-3 ATS) Thursday, 8:00 PM ET Free NBA Pick: Celtics ATSBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Celtics have been a mixed bag this season but for all those who consistently point out that this team is underachieving, with a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, it should be noted that Boston is winning nearly 64 percent of their games. Yes, the team chemistry has been lacking, and a dearth of production from Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward are the primary reasons why the Green isn’t sitting pretty at the top of the standings. Yet, they are in a battle with fierce rivals like Toronto, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia, all of which reloaded in midseason with talented acquisitions. In other words, Boston got by on grit and determination in last year’s postseason, absent their two superstars, but this season every one of their chief rivals improved, including the Milwaukee Bucks.

Speaking of Milwaukee, they have reeled off 14 wins over their last 16 games and have covered the NBA odds in all but four of those contests. Covering the number is something the Bucks have done better than any other team in the league this season, cashing for their backers in 63 percent of their contests. Milwaukee is led by the enormously talented Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is largely responsible for the team’s wild success this season and is an MVP candidate averaging 27.2 points per game complemented by 12.7 boards per contest. The Bucks trail only the Warriors in points scored per game (116.9) and are the top rebounding team in the league, averaging 48.8 per game.

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Gordon has been trending up all season 📈 pic.twitter.com/5AGZewHll4

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) 19 de fevereiro de 2019
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This matchup sounds more than a bit daunting for the Celtics, a team that was rolled 120-107 by the Bucks in their last meeting that took place in Boston. However, there is a case to be made for including Boston in your NBA picks on Thursday night. First and foremost, the ascension of Gordon Hayward is relevant to this and every other game going forward. Hayward is showing flashes far more frequently of being the superstar he was in Utah. His mechanics are better and he is less cautious with the basketball. Let’s not forget that Hayward not only had to recover physically from the gruesome leg injury he sustained last year but emotionally as well. He seems to be doing just that. In addition, let’s also not forget that the Celtics beat the Bucks earlier in their first meeting in November, 117-113, but fell in their second match in December without the services of centers Al Horford and Aron Baynes, as well as sparkplug Marcus Morris. All of whom will be in action on Thursday night.

The bottom line is that these are two evenly matched teams but the oddsmakers are giving the Bucks way too much love and the Celtics far too many points. Let’s also not forget that Boston is 5-3 ATS versus the Bucks in their last eight games played in Milwaukee. Both teams have had a long rest and both should be fresh and ready to go. This one is more of a jump ball than the oddsmakers are reflecting so we will grab the talented road pup and watch Boston make a run at the top spot in East over their last 24 remaining regular season games. Boston covers the number and has a good chance of winning this one outright so bet them on the money line as well.

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