Free NBA Picks Milwaukee Bucks: Season-Long Handicapping and Specialization 12/25/2022
The Bucks are taking on the Celtics on a special Christmas Day matinee Sunday afternoon. This season, I will be breaking down every Milwaukee Bucks game and giving my best bets for the contest. The goal is to be able to use my knowledge of the Bucks, and the league as a whole, to churn a consistent profit by the season’s end.
Doc’s Sports offers NBA picks for every game on our NBA predictions page.
On Friday night, the Bucks fell to the Nets by a score of 118-100, for their first 2-game losing streak since November 14. The lack of scoring depth that has hurt the Nets throughout the season was not present, with 6 players putting up 12+ points, including a season-high 19 points from Nic Claxton. For the Bucks, they were unable to consistently generate offense, and struggled from behind the arc, going just 9/37 from deep.
From a betting perspective, we went 1-1 on the night. I took a shot on the Bucks Moneyline at +130, but it never stood a chance after the Bucks were down 13 at the half. However, we did hit Brook Lopez Over 12.5 Points. Lopez dropped 23 points shooting 10/16 from the floor, easily cashing our prop.
On Christmas Day, the Bucks (22-10) continue their road trip with a visit to Boston (23-10) to take on the Celtics. A high-profile battle between the top two teams in the league is an early Christmas present, with first place in the standings going to the victor. A fantastic piece of matchmaking from the NBA schedule makers gifted us this mid-day matchup, and the stars will be coming to play. The Celtics are led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, both of whom just keep getting better season after season. Tatum is averaging 30.5 PPG and is the clear leader of this franchise. His PPG has increased in all 6 seasons in the league, and the 24-year-old has the potential to elevate to superstar status. Tatum relies on his well-balanced attack, featuring elite ball handling, good shooting, and a bulky, yet agile frame to remain effective on the offensive end. Accompanying him on the floor is Brown. Brown is also posting a career high in PPG with 26.5 points and is shooting a very efficient 48.8% from the floor. Brown is the perfect second star, as his shot creation and will to win elevates his teammates abilities.
The matchup against the Bucks will be a tough task for the recently inconsistent Celtics. The Celtics were 21-5 before dropping 5 of their last 7 games, including back-to-back defeats against the lowly Orlando Magic. The Celtics are still a force to be reckoned with, and a visit from the 2021 champions will be a good test for this unit. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the leader of the Bucks and will wreak chaos on the interior of the Celtics defense. Robert Williams remains out for the Celtics, which has left them vulnerable to devastating paint attacks. Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez comprise one of the most physical, yet talented, big man duos in the league, and the Celtics will have their work cut out for them.
When the light shines brightest, the stars shine even brighter. This game has been circled on both teams’ calendars for months. And with both teams in a mini-rut, a win to send them into first place will go a long way in the cold winter months. The Bucks have dropped back-to-back games for the first time in over a month, and the Celtics have lost their groove on the offensive end. The chasing pack is nipping at the leaders' heels. And with just 2 games separating 1st and 4th, this game is all the more critical.
I expect a tight, yet high scoring contest. The total is set at 224.5, and I feel this is simply too low. Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have the advantage inside and should be able to consistently get easy buckets underneath, while the Celtics have the advantage on the outside and will be able to cook up defenders in the open court. Additionally, the adrenaline will be pumping, and the possessions should be just a tad shorter, giving us a valuable edge. For the first bet of the afternoon, I will be taking the Over for 3 Units.
The second bet for the afternoon is Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 30.5 Points for 2 Units. Antetokounmpo has surpassed this mark only twice in the last 7 games, and we are benefitting from a reduced line. The game has a total set for 225.5, which is very high for a Bucks game, as their elite defense usually leads to a sub 220 betting outcome. These two factors lead me to believe Antetokounmpo will be able to surpass 31 points and put on a show Sunday afternoon. Big man Brook Lopez has been taking more shots, averaging 21.3 PPG over his last 4 games, and is due to regress. Antetokounmpo will have the ball in his hands early and often and will be able to generate enough offense to push him over the line.
Finally, the third bet for Christmas is Celtics moneyline for 1 Unit. The Celtics have been playing mediocre over the last 2 weeks, and I think a highlight game against their fiercest competition is exactly what they need. In front of the Boston faithful, the Celtics will use their exterior advantage to put points on the board. The second chance points from the Bucks and a big night from Antetokounmpo will make this a sweat, but the Celtics will emerge victorious.
Pick: Bucks vs Celtics Over 224.5 3 Units
Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 30.5 Points 2 Units
Pick: Boston Celtics Moneyline -200 1 Unit
2022 Season record:
ML Record: 4-4
Spread Record: 5-7
Total Record: 3-6
Player Props Record: 11-8
Down 0.1 Units ($10)
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