Celtics vs Bucks Game 4 Picks and Predictions: Boston Escapes Fiserv Forum With a Victory

Desperate for a road win in Game 4, our NBA betting picks are expecting a better Jayson Tatum performance and a gritty Celtics defense — led by Marcus Smart — to help knot this series up at two apiece.

Zachary Cohen - Contributor at Covers.com
May 9, 2022 • 16:28 ET • 4 min read
Marcus Smart Boston Celtics NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks took a 2-1 series lead over the Boston Celtics with a 103-101 victory on Saturday. The game came down to the final seconds, with Al Horford’s tip-in to tie the game coming just a hair after the buzzer.

Now, the Celtics will look to even things up in a must-win Game 4 at Fiserv Forum. 

Will Boston find a way to steal a victory and level this series? Check out our Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks NBA picks and predictions to find out.  

Celtics vs Bucks odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

After losing a close battle in Game 3, the Celtics opened as 1-point underdogs in this Game 4 in Milwaukee. Now, this line can be found from anywhere from pick’em to Boston +1.5, but it does seem like the majority of the bets are on Milwaukee. 

The total, which opened at 210, is already up as high as 212.5 on one sportsbook, but you can also find it for as low as 211.5 on others. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Celtics vs Bucks predictions

Predictions made on 5/9/2022 at 2:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Celtics vs Bucks game info

Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Date: Monday, May 9, 2022
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET

Celtics vs Bucks series odds

Celtics: +135
Bucks: -160

Celtics vs Bucks betting preview

Key injuries

Celtics: Sam Hauser F (Questionable).
Bucks: Khris Middleton F (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Celtics are 16-5-1 against the spread in their last 22 road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Bucks.

Celtics vs Bucks picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

The Celtics trailed by as many as 14 points in Game 3, but still clawed their way back and had a chance to win.

Boston did that despite the fact that Jayson Tatum was 4-for-19 from the floor and 0-for-6 from three. On top of that, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Grant Williams shot a combined 2-for-15 from beyond the arc. 

There’s just no chance the Celtics are going to shoot that poorly again, especially with this essentially being a must-win game. Boston can’t afford to be in a situation in which the team needs to win three in a row against the defending champions. 

Tatum is the one that really should swing Game 4 in favor of the Celtics. The 24-year-old had 29 points on 10-for-20 shooting in a Game 2 blowout of Milwaukee, and he’s just far too good of a player to struggle two games in a row.

This is the same guy that completely outplayed Kevin Durant in Boston’s first-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets. He’s capable of showing up in a big way in Game 4, and you should count on him doing so. 

The Celtics should also be able to do a better job on Giannis Antetokounmpo on the defensive end in Game 4. Antetokounmpo, who was averaging just 26.0 points per game in the first two games of this series, erupted for 42 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists in Game 3.

The Greek Freak will likely score in the 30s in this contest, but the Celtics have the means to prevent him from duplicating Saturday's standout performance.

Between Tatum, Brown and Grant Williams, Boston has enough wings to throw at him and try to tire him out. Robert Williams, along with Horford, can also do a decent enough job of contesting shots at the basket, forcing other Bucks role players to step up and make shots. 

The Celtics covered in their close Game 3 loss, and you should count on them to do it again, probably even winning outright. With Khris Middleton out of the lineup, Boston is the better team and just needs to make up for a lackluster Game 1 performance to prove it.

Prediction: Celtics +1.5 (-115 at BetMGM)

Over/Under analysis

While the Celtics had the best defensive rating in the league during the regular season, the Bucks, who were 14th during the year, have the best defensive rating in the playoffs, by far.

That playoff-best mark currently sits at 97.1, with the next-best team being the Miami Heat at 106.5. The Celtics, meanwhile, rank third in the playoffs, so both of these squads are digging in and getting stops at an elite level. We don’t expect that to stop with the stakes continuing to get higher.

The Under has actually hit in all three of these games, and it's only going to get harder to score from here. These defenses are extremely familiar with the other teams' offensive sets, and they should be defending with max intensity with the heightened pressure of tonight's tilt.

It’s also worth noting that the Under is 11-1 in Boston's last 12 conference semifinal games. It's also cashed in each of Milwaukee's last eight games this season. Back it once more.

Prediction: Under 212.5 (-110 at FanDuel)

Best bet

Smart has been the heart and soul of this Boston Celtics team all season long, and he’s going to do everything in his power to lead by example in a game he knows his team needs to win.

With that said, look for the Defensive Player of the Year to really go all out on the defensive end in this one. Smart is going to do everything he can to jump passing lanes and get his hands on the ball. He’ll also be the guy that’s diving for every loose ball, as that’s what it’s going to take for Boston to win this grind-it-out game in Milwaukee. 

Smart had just one steal in Game 3, but he did have two in Game 1. He also had two steals in two of the four games against the Nets in the last series, and he averaged 1.7 steals per game in the regular season.

This number is incredibly gettable for someone of Smart's defensive prowess, making it worth a play at plus-money. 

Pick: Marcus Smart Over 1.5 steals (+120)

NBA parlays

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