|Over 212 (-102) @ pinnacle|
5 of 6 (83%) Experts with a pick on the moneyline are aligned. 10* play on the Boston vs. Milwaukee OVER (Total).
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The O/U lines in this series keep getting lower. Consider that the first one game of the series had an O/U line of 218.5. When these teams met at Christmas, the O/U line was 228.5 and when they faced each here other last spring, the O/U line was 235. Needless to say, we're working with a lower O/U number here. I believe it'll prove to be too low. With the first three games all staying below the number, note that the Celtics have seen the OVER go 6-3 the past nine times that their previous three games fell below the total. Also, note that Boston road games have been higher-scoring than Boston home games. When the Celtics play on the road, their games average 217.7. Meanwhile, even factoring in the relatively low-scoring Game 3, Milwaukee home games are averaging a healthy 224.5 points. Both teams shot poorly last game. Boston hit 36.8% of its field goals and 27.3% of its 3-point shots. Milwaukee hit 26.5% of its 3-point shots and 40.4% of its field goals. Yet, they still got to 204. I'm expecting improved shooting percentages to lead to a significantly higher final score.
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My NBA Playoff record has been pretty good thus far, but admittedly it would be even better if not for some stubbornness when it comes to choosing the Over in this particular series. It’s been flawed logic (to this point) waiting for the “roulette wheel to come up red” as all seven Bucks’ games this postseason have stayed Under. Oddsmakers have been scrambling to adjust as we’ve gone from a closing O/U line of 230.5 for Game 1 of the first round series (vs. Chicago) to a closing O/U line of 212 for the last game of this series. With every game, the O/U line has dropped.
My thought process, flawed as it has been, is that we’re getting value with the O/U line decreasing so much. As a reminder, Milwaukee led the Eastern Conference in scoring (115.5 PPG) during the regular season. But it has been their incredible DEFENSIVE efficiency rating (96.1) that has carried them throughout the playoffs. Consider that the #2 team (Miami) has a postseason defensive efficiency rating of 103.0. Boston isn’t too shabby defensively in its own right, ranking third in postseason defensive efficiency rating and second in the regular season. But, interestingly enough, this is the first time in the series we’ve seen a clear influx of early money coming in on the Over.
That’s easy to understand. Whereas Boston shot horribly in Game 1 (33.3% overall) and Milwaukee shot horribly in Game 2 (3 of 18 from three-point range), BOTH teams were bad from the floor in Game 3. The Celtics were back down to 36.8% overall while the Bucks weren’t much better (at 40.4%). The teams combined to shoot 18 of 67 (26.8%) from behind the arc. I expect improvement across the board in the shooting department - from both teams - here in Game 4. Scoring has jumped in every game, from 190 in Game 1 to 195 in Game 2 to 204 in Game 3. Another jump comes here and we FINALLY cash that elusive Over ticket on Milwaukee.
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While we didn't get the result we wanted, missing with the 'over', the pace was absolutely there in Game 3 of this series on Saturday with both teams setting series-highs in terms of field goal attempts (Milwaukee had 99 and Boston 87). That was precisely what we were projecting noting how fast-paced and high scoring the two regular season meetings were here in Milwaukee. I expect more of the same on Monday, but this time I look for both teams to do a much better job of making good on their scoring opportunities. Boston in particular has struggled shooting the ball so far in this series, knocking down 28, 38 and 32 field goals through the first three games. Keep in mind, the Celtics average 41 made field goals per contest on the road this season and knocked down 42 in both road games last round. For its part, Milwaukee also averages 41 made field goals per game at home this season and has connected on 43, 49 and 40 field goals in three previous home matchups with Boston. Here, we'll note that despite Saturday's 'under' result, the 'over' remains 33-21 with the Celtics playing in an 'underdog' role over the last two seasons, resulting in an average total of 225.1 points.
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So far the Bucks have seen the total go UNDER the number in every Playoff game they've played in so far this postseason.
That's eight games that have fallen UNDER the number for the Bucks.
The Celtics have seen it go UNDER in five of their seven games played so far.
This fact though has now driven today's O/U line a few points lower than it normally would be though in our opinion.
This has been a very competitive series so far, but I believe the Celtics will push the pace here to avoid the 3-1 hole.
A faster paced game = more shots and more shots = more points.
And despite all of their lower-scoring games of late, the Bucks have still seen the total go OVER the number in seven of their last ten after playing to five or more straight OVERS in a row.
The public is almost auto playing the "under" whenever the Bucks play now, and that's a mistake in this case.
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We’ve yet to see an Over in this series or, in the case of Milwaukee, the entire postseason! The Bucks are 8-0 Under here in the playoffs, allowing an average of just 96.9 points per game. I believe we’ll see that Under streak come to an end tonight in Game 4 vs. Boston.
It was terrible all-around shooting in Game 3. The Celtics shot 36.8% while the Bucks weren’t much better at 40.4%. Both teams shot similarly from three with Boston only making 9 of 33 and Milwaukee making 9 of 34. Still, the game very nearly made it to the 212 point total (was a 103-101 final).
You have to imagine we will see better shooting, from both teams, in this game. Therefore, there will be more than just a few added points and the Over seems likely.
Boston made 38 three-pointers in the first two games, so a return to form there seems obvious.
The four times these teams met in the regular season, every game had a minimum of 220 total points scored. I just think we’re destined for an Under. There haven’t been too many Milwaukee games this season where the O/U was lower than it is here.
Best of luck!
at covers experts
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