The white hot Milwaukee Bucks entertain the Boston Celtics as both clubs are seeking a shot at the postseason. What numbers have the NBA odds makers set out for us, and where are we better off laying our cash?

NBA odds boards currently list the Bucks as a 3.5 point favorite, while the matchup's total sits anywhere between 199.5 and 201, depending on the NBA betting shop you use. 

Boston Celtics (24-21 SU, 20-25 ATS)

Celtics vs. BucksThe Boston Celtics and Hawks played a dreadful three quarters in Atlanta as the teams combined for a dismal 101 points headed into the 4th quarter. However, the Celtics went on a 13-0 run to ground the Hawks and came away with a 79-76 road victory as two point underdogs and snapped a two game losing streak.

The Celtics sit this morning as the 7th seeded team in the Eastern Confrence, but are only three games ahead of the Bucks who are currently on the outside looking in behind New York for the 8th and final playoff spot. The Green must have angered the NBA matchup scheduling gods because they are playing their seventh game of a lengthy eight game road swing that concludes against the Sixers tomorrow night.

Boston will be without the services of Jermaine O'Neal, who has likely played his last game as a Celtic and perhaps his last game period. O'Neal will miss the rest of the season due to wrist surgery and the Celtics will have to do a better job in the post as they have been getting dominated this season, ranking 30th in rebounds per game and have been anemic offensively averaging only 91 points per contest (26th). 

Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo will have to duplicate their efforts the last time these teams played back on February 29th when Garnett scored a season high 25 points to go along with 10 rebounds and Rondo torched the Bucks with his fourth triple double of the season.

Milwaukee Bucks (21-24 SU, 22-22 ATS)

Milwaukee has caught fire recently winning 6 of their last seven games and covering the spread in each. The Trailblazers were their latest victims on Tuesday night as Milwaukee won going away 116-87, as 3.5 point road dogs. 

Celtics vs. BucksThe Bucks will tie their longest win streak in over ten years if they defeat the Green tonight and will have the assistance of recently acquired Monta Ellis who has torched the Celtics in the past. The talented shooting guard has averaged over 27 points per game against Boston in his last five games and will lead the charge offensively along with Drew Gooden and Brandon Jennings. Power forward Ersan Ilyasova will give the Celtics fits down low and though this Milwaukee team may be short on defense they can certainly drain the rock, averaging 98 points per game, good for 7th in the league.

Analysis:

Milwaukee is currently 11-9 at home straight up and 10-10 against the number but with the recent addition of Ellis and the chemistry they have found recently, those numbers should rise in a positive direction. There is no hotter team in the NBA and the Celtics inability to compete on the glass will be a deciding factor against the Bucks. 

The problem with Boston is they are woefully short on offense as Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen enter their twilight years. They cannot expect to win games by trudging through the mud as they did against Atlanta. Milwaukee is too explosive offensively and are now clicking on all cylinders. 

Though the Celtics have dominated this series recently, beating the Bucks in their last two visits to Milwaukee and winning twelve of their last 15 games against them overall, it is a different club they face tonight. The Celtics may be looking ahead to tomorrow night's clash in Philly so we will add the Bucks -3 ½ to our NBA picks tonight.