Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Betting: Back Giannis, Bucks to move within win of East finals

Eddie Griffin

After two games without late drama, Game 3 of the Celtics vs. Bucks series more than made up for it. But in the end, the reigning NBA champions provided yet another example of why they have that label, prevailing 103-101 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Tonight, Milwaukee will look to defend its home court once again and take a 3-1 lead, which would give them a chance to clinch the series on Wednesday night in Boston. With the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers already assured of at least a six-game series, the Bucks would no doubt love to finish off the Celtics in five games.

There has been speculation that Khris Middleton, who is sidelined with an MCL sprain, could return later in this series. But taking a 3-1 lead tonight and then closing out Boston on Wednesday without rushing him back or having a quick turnaround to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals would certainly be the ideal outcome for Milwaukee.

Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 4) Betting Odds and Matchup Information

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: #2 Boston Celtics (1-2) vs. #3 Milwaukee Bucks (2-1)
  • Venue & Location: Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
  • Date: Monday, May 9, 2022
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time
  • How to Watch Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4: TNT

Celtics vs. Bucks Betting Odds

Odds are via our top reviewed and recommended sportsbooks.

FanDuel

  • Spread: Boston Celtics +1 (-110), Milwaukee Bucks -1 (-110)
  • Total: OVER 212.5 (-110), UNDER 212.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Celtics -108, Bucks -108

Caesars Sportsbook

  • Spread: Boston Celtics +1 (-110), Milwaukee Bucks -1 (-110)
  • Total: OVER 212.5 (-110), UNDER 212.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Boston Celtics -105, Milwaukee Bucks -115

BetRivers

  • Spread: Boston Celtics +1 (-113), Milwaukee Bucks -1 (-109)
  • Total: OVER 212 (-110), UNDER 212 (-112)
  • Moneyline: Boston Celtics -106, Milwaukee Bucks -113
Jayson Tatum Celtics vs. Bucks NBA
Celtics star Jayson Tatum was held to just 10 points in the Game 3 loss to the Bucks on Saturday.

Celtics Need Tatum to Turn Up After Tough Game 3

In Game 3, Celtics star Jayson Tatum was not at his best, to put it mildly. He made only 4 of 19 shots and missed all six of his three-point attempts on the way to a 10-point performance.

With Tatum’s subpar showing, the Celtics did rather well to even have the lead in the final minute. But the Bucks didn’t exactly light it up offensively, and where Tatum (and Marcus Smart) both were off, Jaylen Brown (8-16 FG, 10-11 FT, 27 points, 12 rebounds) and Al Horford (9-17 FG, 4-7 3PT, 22 points, 16 rebounds, five assists) helped keep Boston in it until the end.

However, a repeat performance from Tatum would not bode well for Boston’s chances to return home with the series tied.

On the flip side, a good night for Tatum would position the Celtics well, based on results throughout this season.

2021-22 Scoring Trends for Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics

  • The Celtics are 11-10 (.524 win percentage) this season when Tatum has been held to 20 or fewer points. When he scores 21 or more points, they are 43-19 (.694 win percentage).
  • If you expand further to games in which he has scored 25+ points and games in which he has scored fewer than 25 points, the Celtics are 18-18 when he scores fewer than 25 points and 36-11 when he scores 25+ points.
  • When Tatum has been the team’s top scorer, Boston is 33-16 (.674 win percentage). When anyone else has led the Celtics in scoring (or he did not play), they are just 23-17 (.575 win percentage).
  • The Bucks’ Game 1 win snapped a nine-game win streak in games in which Tatum has been Boston’s leading scorer. Overall, the Celtics are 21-3 in the last 24 games in which he has led the team in scoring.

Saturday marked only the 16th time this season (in 83 games) that he has been held under 20 points. If he produces even his average output of 25.9 PPG in games that follow such performances, he will be pretty close to his season average–regular season and postseason included–of 26.8 PPG.

So, the numbers line up well for Tatum to respond well to one of his worst games of the season. But will a return to form be enough to bring the Celtics level vs. the Bucks in this series?

All Roads Lead Through Giannis

By now, we know who the Bucks are. Over the past two postseasons, the Bucks have faced and overcome a number of trying situations.

Game 3 was no different. After trailing at halftime, they outscored Boston 34-17 in the third to take a 13-point lead into the fourth. But they squandered that lead and trailed by a point inside the final minute after managing only two points in over four minutes.

But Giannis did what Giannis does to put Milwaukee ahead 101-100, and after a defensive stop, Jrue Holiday, who was only 11 of 30 from the field in Game 3, scored to put the Bucks up by three.

Ultimately, the Bucks do need the supporting cast to chip in. Holiday, who is shooting only 39.1 percent in the playoffs, well below his regular season shooting percentage (50.1 percent), could certainly stand to be just a bit more efficient.

But when you have Giannis, you’re going to win more than you’re going to lose. And the two-time MVP came up huge in Game 3, with 42 points (16-30 FG, 9-12 FT), 12 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks, and two steals.

It was his third double-double in three home games against the Celtics this season, following a 29-point, 11-rebound, five-assist performance on April 7 and a 36-point, 12-rebound, five-assist performance on Christmas Day. All three games were Bucks wins.

Home Splits for Giannis Over the 2021 and 2022 Playoffs (14 Games)

  • PPG: 33.2
  • RPG: 13.6

In those 14 games, Giannis has 12 double-doubles, and the Bucks have a 12-2 record. Their only losses are to the Hawks in Game 1 of last season’s Eastern Conference finals and Game 2 of their first-round series with the Bulls this season. So, even a standout performance by Tatum may not be enough if Giannis is Giannis.

Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Prediction and Best Bets

Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Prediction: Bucks 115, Celtics 109

Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Best Bets: Bucks -1 (-109 at BetRivers) and OVER 212 (-110 at Caesars Sportsbook and BetRivers)

While Tatum should have a much better game than he did in Game 3, Giannis’s aforementioned home form and the Bucks’ home success over the last two postseasons wins out here. Milwaukee certainly misses Middleton, and the sooner he can return, the better it is for their hopes of an NBA championship repeat.

But through Giannis, all things are possible, and if the Celtics can’t keep him from filling up the stat sheet yet again, they are not likely to take a tied series back to TD Garden.

Best Prop Bets for Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4

  • Bobby Portis OVER 11.5 points (-110) and OVER 19.5 points + rebounds (-122) – both at FanDuel

So, for all of the talk about Tatum and Giannis, here I go picking a Bobby Portis prop? Well, there is better value and rationale in these props over Tatum’s points total (O/U 28.5), Giannis’s points total (O/U 30.5), or Giannis’s points + rebounds total (O/U 43.5), because of what is required for each one.

In eight games thus far in the playoffs, Portis is averaging 11.9 PPG and 10.4 RPG. If you take out Game 2 against the Bulls, in which he was limited to six minutes with an eye injury courtesy of Tristan Thompson’s elbow, those averages go up to 13.3 PPG and 11.6 RPG.

Relative to either the adjusted or unadjusted numbers, Portis had a fairly quiet Game 3 with nine points (3-9 FG, 1-4 3PT) and seven rebounds.

Look for a more productive night for Portis in Game 4. Until Game 3, he had put up some solid numbers against the Celtics all season, averaging 16.0 PPG and 8.3 RPG in the previous six meetings.

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