Bucks vs. Celtics prediction and odds for Christmas Day (Expect a defensive struggle)

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The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks played one of the closest and toughest series of the entire playoffs last year in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

They’ve had some time away before the rematch, but Adam Silver thought that Christmas Day would be the perfect time for Game 8 of that series that Boston pulled out on their home-court. Much like that series, Khris Middleton will likely be out for this one, which is a very tough blow for Milwaukee.

The Bucks are 22-10 and the Celtics are just one game ahead in the win column, 23-10, so this will be for the top spot in the East. Boston is favored by Vegas, so let’s take a look at the odds for this matchup of two of the top teams in basketball.

Bucks vs. Celtics odds, spread and total

Bucks vs. Celtics prediction and pick

The Celtics weren’t able to stop Giannis last year, but they were the best defensive team in the league a season ago and they did just enough to slow him down. Robert Williams II was a big part of that and he’s played just three games this year, after coming back from a knee injury on December 16. He is now questionable for this game with an illness and that’d be a devastating loss for the Celtics who have only won one of their last four.

On the other side, the Bucks have lost two straight without Middleton. Their starting lineup just has a noticeable hole without him in there. In their loss to Cleveland they went with MarJon Beauchamp, and last game, they gave the start to Grayson Allen. Without him, I’m not sure they have the scoring to compete with Boston, the No. 1 team in offensive efficiency. The Celtics are also ninth in defensive efficiency. Milwaukee is 21st in offensive efficiency and fifth on defense.

They’re also 15th and 16th in pace respectively, so I don’t think this game will be up and down, I expect it to have the feel of a playoff game and be one of the best of the day. If we’re getting playoff caliber defense in December, then I like the under in this one.

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change

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