NBA Christmas Day Picks 2022: Boston Celtics Favored Over Milwaukee Bucks

  • What: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
  • Date: Sunday, December 25, 2022
  • Location: TD Garden in Boston, MA
  • Time: 5:00 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: ESPN

The late afternoon game on the NBA’s schedule for Christmas Day 2022 is a matchup between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. Not only do the Celtics and Bucks have the best records in the East, but they are also the top two teams in the NBA. Boston leads the league with a 22-8 record, while Milwaukee is a half-game behind them in the standings at 21-8. In addition, the clubs are the only teams with winning percentages over .700 at this point in the 2022-23 NBA season.

Boston has been very strong on the road (11-5) as well as at home (11-3), while Milwaukee has been a better home team (14-3) than they have been on the road (7-5).

Milwaukee won the Eastern Conference and the NBA title in 2021. Meanwhile, the Celtics were the Eastern Conference representatives in 2022.

Before we dive into the betting breakdown for the 2022 Christmas Day NBA matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 NBA Finals and our tips for betting on the NBA.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics picks – December 25, 2022

TeamsGTBets Review
Milwaukee Bucks+145
Boston Celtics-170

Milwaukee Bucks breakdown

As has been the case for the past several seasons, the Bucks go as Giannis Antetokounmpo goes and so far this season, Giannas has been his usual dominating self. Antetokounmpo is the No. 4 scorer in the NBA with 30.6 points per game. Obviously, that total leads the Bucks in scoring. Antetokounmpo is also leading the team in rebounds with 11.1 and minutes played at 32.8. Jrue Holiday, who is second in scoring with 19.2 points per game, is the team leader in assists (7.4) and steals (1.5), while Brook Lopez, who is the team’s fourth-highest scorer (14.4) is the leader in blocks with 2.8.

The Bucks have not been a great team scoring on the road. In fact, the team’s 104.7 road points is the second-worst number at this point in the 2022-23 NBA season. However, Milwaukee is the third-best road team in scoring defense, allowing their opponents an average of 108.8 points per game.

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Boston Celtics breakdown

The Celtics have been the best team in the NBA for most of the 2023 NBA season. That’s not surprising when the team’s biggest stars, Jayson TatumJaylen Brown and Marcus Smart are playing at the top their games. Tatum leads the team in points (30.2), rebounds (8.3) and minutes (37.0). Brown is contributing 26.5 points per game on 35.7 minutes, while Smart leads the team in assists (7.3) and steals (1.3), while putting up 11.6 points on 33.3 minutes per game. Boston also got some good news in mid-December as Robert Williams III returned to the team, playing 18 minutes in his first game of the 2023 NBA season, a 117-109 loss to the Orlando Magic.

The Celtics are the highest-scoring home team in the NBA this season, with an average of 124.6 points per game. As for the team’s defensive game at TD Garden, Boston is in the bottom half of the league at 114.9, but the team’s point differential at home of plus 9.8 gives the Celtics some wiggle room on the defensive side of the game.

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Our pick

Christmas Day marks the first time these two teams meet in the 2022-23 NBA season. While Giannis Antetokounmpo is a force to be reckoned with for the Bucks, the Celtics are a deeper and more well-rounded team. With that, the best bet for the matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics is to pick the Celtics to win.

Pick: Boston Celtics to beat the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent is a professional sports journalist specializing in UFC, MMA, and esports coverage. His work has been featured in prestigious publications such as USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively. Trent's connection to MMA dates back to the early days when he and his friends pooled their resources to purchase the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 1. He also has extensive experience in esports, particularly League of Legends and Counter Strike, dating back to the game's launch.