The Boston Celtics will be looking for a fourth straight victory Thursday night when they close out a brief two-game home stand by taking on the undefeated Milwaukee Bucks as 2-point favorites on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Following a shaky 2-2 straight-up start, Boston finally found its groove with three straight wins, including victories in both ends of a home-and-home series with Detroit that have lifted the club’s record to 5-2 entering Thursday’s Bucks vs. Celtics betting matchup at TD Garden.
However, the Celtics have struggled to consistently reward bettors in the early going, racking up a middling 3-4 record against the spread including a 1-2 ATS mark on home court, capped by their 108-105 win over the Pistons as 8.5-point home chalk Tuesday night.
Despite their uneven start, the Celtics continue to sport the NBA’s top defense. Boston has surrendered just 97.6 points per game over its first seven outings, and have also limited opponents to 93 or fewer points in two of their three contests at TD Garden. That has produced a solid run for the UNDER in totals betting, which has gone 5-2 to date, and 4-1 in their past five, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
But the Boston defense will be tested against Milwaukee, which has averaged 120 points per game during a sensational 7-0 SU start. The Bucks have topped that point total in four of their seven victories, including a 124-109 win over Toronto as 2-point home underdogs on Monday that spoiled the Raptors’ 7-0 start.
Milwaukee has been dominant during its hot start, claiming victory in each of its past six outings, while playing responsible defense that had limited opponents to 95 or fewer points in its two previous outings prior to Monday’s win.
The Bucks’ strong start has also given them a boost on the NBA championship odds. Milwaukee opened the season at +10000, but now sits as a +2500 wager to win its first NBA title since 1971.
However, the Bucks have enjoyed little success in recent visits to Boston. In addition to losing SU and ATS in four matchups at TD Garden during last spring’s first-round playoff series with the Celtics, Milwaukee is a meagre 2-4 SU in its past six regular-season road dates with Boston, falling to defeat by double digits in three of those meetings.
Following Thursday’s contest, the Celtics hit the road for a five-game road trip, starting in Indiana on Saturday. Boston came up short in its past two against the Pacers, both on home court, but have won four straight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.