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Bucks Become Heavy -600 Favorites to Advance to Eastern Conference Final After Taking 2-1 Series Lead Over Celtics

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NBA Basketball

Updated Mar 25, 2020 · 10:59 AM PDT

Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Bucks are just two wins away from advancing to their first Conference Final since 2001. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) CC License.
  • After a convincing Game 3 win, the Bucks are now a heavy favorite to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals
  • Milwaukee has won the last two games of the series by a combined 28 points, draining 35 three-pointers along the way
  • Are the Bucks a lock, or can the Celtics rebound and knock off the top seed?

The Milwaukee Bucks once again look like the most dominant force in the East. After an uncharacteristic hiccup in Game 1 of their second-round series versus the Celtics, the Bucks have rebounded in a big way, winning Games 2 and 3 by a combined 28 points.

They’ve taken back home court advantage from Boston and their odds to win the series have been shortened from -180 after Game 2, to -600 ahead of Game 4.

Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks Playoff Series Odds

Team Odds
Boston Celtics +400
Milwaukee Bucks -600

*Odds taken 05/04/19

If history is any indication, Milwaukee is in a great position to advance to their first Eastern Conference Finals since 2001. 74% of NBA teams who have won Game 3 in a series tied 1-1 have proceeded to advance to the next round.

Fear the Deer’s Offense

After pouring in 123 points in Game 3, the Bucks have now scored at least 119 points in six of their first seven playoff games in 2019. They drained 15 more three-pointers in Game 3, after a franchise record 20 in Game 2, and their postseason point differential now sits at an astounding +101.

Not only are they making it rain from outside, they’re dominating inside as well. They outscored the Celtics by 28 points in the paint in Game 3, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo.

There is No Answer for the Greek Freak

There’s no doubt that the Bucks have the best player in the series, but Antetokounmpo hasn’t just outplayed Kyrie Irving in Games 2 and 3, he’s embarrassed him. Giannis’ stat line Friday night was an absolute marvel that showcased each one of his many talents.

He’s shooting 54% from the field over the last two games and is +27 during that stretch. Irving meanwhile, was just 8 for 22 in Game 3, after making just 22% of attempts in Game 2. He’s a dismal 23% from beyond the arc in Boston’s two losses this series, and the frustration is starting to boil over.

He lashed out against the officials after Game 3, and if he doesn’t start knocking down more shots soon, this could be a very short series.

Buy the Bucks, Sell the Celts

The Bucks were the much better team this season, and their performance the last two games has only reinforced that. They have more talent on offense and defense, and the Celtics have no answer for Giannis.

It never feels good to lay this much juice, but Milwaukee is heading to the Eastern Conference Finals, and most likely the Finals after that.

Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-600)

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