Milwaukee Bucks PF Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out for Friday night’s game vs. the Boston Celtics due to an ankle injury. Giannis was listed as probable heading into this game, so it’s a bit of a surprise move by the Bucks to hold him out. The Greek Freak didn’t feel 100 percent before the game during warmups and decided to play things safe. This has a major impact on this game from a fantasy and betting perspective. Let’s get into it.
Fantasy basketball impact
With Giannis sidelined, the Bucks will be without three starters with Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez also out. Milwaukee had won two straight games despite being shorthanded. It will be pretty tough to extend that to three straight without Antetokounmpo. With the Greek Freak out, the Bucks will have to lean on Bobby Portis and Jrue Holiday. Those two will be your top choices in terms of DFS on DraftKings. As for value, the entire roster is riddled with it while Giannis is off the floor.
Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton, George Hill and Jordan Nwora should all see increased minutes in the absence of Giannis. The Celtics aren’t even the type of team who should crush the Bucks without Antetokounmpo, so this actually becomes a pretty appealing game environment. Things may still be pretty competitive. Portis and Holiday are decent mid-range options in the $6K range while Allen, Nwora, Hill and Connaughton are all $5,200 or lower in salary on DK.
Update — The Celtics are 5-point favorites, which feels a bit generous. I wouldn’t touch that spread and would wait and see how the game goes early on. It could be close and you could get a better line on Boston. The O/U is now at 210, which seems about right. I would lean on the under still considering it could be pretty ugly basketball on both sides. The Celtics at -200 doesn’t give any value, so really unless you got the line immediately after Giannis was ruled out, wait and bet in-game.
The Bucks entered this game favored by 2 points on DraftKings Sportsbook. With Giannis out, we should see the script flipped a bit and Boston will be favored on the spread at home. There’s some value in looking at Milwaukee on the ML or even waiting and betting in-game to see how things pan out early on. The Bucks are capable of beating this Celtics team without Giannis. The over/under was set at 213.5 points, which may be the better spot to get in on. Antetokounmpo makes up most of the Bucks’ offensive production. Boston is also missing Jaylen Brown.