The Eastern Conference Finals has been a roller coaster ride thus far. The Hawks stole Game 1 in Milwaukee, only to drop the next two after Trae Young was hurt during Game 3. Many pundits noted this as the obvious end for Atlanta only to see the Hawks respond with a complete team effort in Game 4, posting six guys with double digit points en route to a convincing 110-88 victory to level the series at 2-2.

Let’s jump into a potential series-deciding Game 5 between Atlanta and Milwaukee with our Hawks vs. Bucks picks and best bets.

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Making matters worse for the Bucks was the loss of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who hyperextended his knee on an awkward landing in the third quarter of Game 4. The Greek Freak is listed as doubtful for Game 5 in Milwaukee, a catalyst for the spread opening with the Bucks as 4.5 point favorites but currently seeing them laying just two points in many betting houses.

Trae Young (knee) and Clint Capela, who got poked in the eye late in Game 4, are both listed as questionable for tonight’s matchup. If the Hawks are able to leave the court victorious tonight, they would head home for Game 6 needing just one win to ensure a trip to the NBA Finals to face the newly crowned Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns.

With the many uncertainties surrounding player availability for Game 5, we were able to isolate five player prop bet wagering options that could bear fruit tonight. We will share those selections and the rationales behind them below.

Bucks vs. Hawks Picks (Game 5)

Best Bets
 Khris Middleton Over 27.5 Points (FanDuel Sportsbook -102)
Bogdan Bogdanovic Over 17.5 Points (FanDuel Sportsbook -106)
Clint Capela Over 10.5 Rebounds (DraftKings Sportsbook -120)
Bobby Portis Over 9.5 Rebounds (FanDuel Sportsbook +102)
Kevin Huerter Over 8.5 Total Rebounds and Assists (FanDuel Sportsbook -113)

 

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John Collins Over 8.5 Rebounds (DraftKings Sportsbook -120)

Young is listed as questionable with his ankle injury, as expected. Assuming he gives it a go, which he likely will, it’s hard to imagine the ankle being 100%. There will almost assuredly be stretches of play where Young will elect to shoot jumpers rather than drive hard to the basket. And it’s easy to say Milwaukee knows this and will guard him closely, forcing him to test the ankle on the dribble, as he has shown time and again his willingness to pull up from 30 feet.

You just cannot guard a guy that far from the basket for 40+ minutes.

Young made six triples in Game 3, with one deep one coming after the ankle turn. That was the fifth straight home game in which Young splashed at least three from deep. He has averaged 3.8 made threes per game at home in the playoffs and has attempted at least six 3-pointers in each of his last 14 postseason games.

Young attempted and made his most threes per game on one day of rest this season. He also averaged a whole three-pointer made more per game (2.6) and attempted more per game (6.6) in Hawks’ wins than losses, shooting nearly 40% from deep in the team’s victories. This is precisely the type of effort they will need tonight if they hope to level the series.

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Khris Middleton Over 43.5 Total Points, Rebounds & Assists (DraftKings Sportsbook -107)

Bobby Portis’ role in Milwaukee’s game plan has shown renewed importance in this series after being a healthy scratch in three games during the Brooklyn series. Portis continues to log 15-20 minutes of high energy off the bench, which is much needed against the athletic, aggressive rebounders Atlanta sends out there in droves.

The 6’10” big man takes major minutes from Brook Lopez, but also proved he can give Antetokounmpo a rest, sliding down to cover the 6’8” guys from Atlanta. In a game where Young could be camping beyond the arc and the Hawks could throw the kitchen sink at Antetokounmpo  and Middleton, Portis should have plenty of opportunities to pull down rebounds on both ends of the court.

He has quietly averaged 4.7 rebounds per game in the postseason after piling up 7.1 per game during the regular season, both figures are enough to get it done tonight.

He also topped this prop number in all three regular season meetings against the Hawks, averaging six boards per contest. Portis will continue to earn significant court time with his contributions and should be in for a major workload tonight following his 7-12 shooting night in Game 3, where he boasted a +/- of +17 to go with his 15 points.

Kevin Huerter Over 3.5 Assists (FanDuel Sportsbook -140)

Holiday struggled mightily shooting the ball throughout the Brooklyn series, but has returned to form here against Atlanta. The first two games of this series saw him shoot 23-39 from the field (59.0%), good for 27.5 points per game, prompting a lot more defensive attention in Game 3. The Bucks’ guard promptly turned himself into the distributor, dishing out 12 assists on Giannis’ and Middleton’s big nights.

Atlanta will have to shift its defensive focus to those two stars tonight, likely leaving Trae Young on an island against Holiday. With an ankle presumably at less than 100%, Young will have to play a step off Holiday to avoid getting blown by on the dribble, thus freeing the Bucks’ future Olympian for clean looks from long range. Holiday made five and three 3-pointers, respectively, in Games 1 and 2.

To receive this kind of monetary return for a guy who made 3+ triples in 18 of 59 regular season games (34.0%) and should get several clean studies tonight, is an opportunity we do not want to pass up.

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Bogdan Bogdanovic Over 2.5 Made Threes (FanDuel Sportsbook -158)

John Collins has been a wrecking ball at points in this postseason, but if his fourth quarter with Trae Young hobbled is any indicator of things to come, we could be primed for a slip in form for the 6’8” forward.

With Young unable to get into the lane and create havoc upon which Collins thrived with alley-oops and putbacks, he was relegated to four points, while missing a dunk, turning the ball over, committing a foul, and missing two free throws, while collecting just two rebounds, despite playing the final eight and a half minutes.

Collins finished the game with just 13 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes of action. That marked two games in a row now that Collins has failed to top 24 minutes of action after playing 33+ in nine straight previous. With Cam Reddish back available and Onyeka Okongwu having a strong Game 3, Collins could find himself once again in a bit of a timeshare minutes-wise. Collins has failed to reach the 16 points needed to beat us here in 10 of his 15 playoff games.

Collins is not a guy who finds his own shot well, so if Young can’t create for him tonight, he should struggle to top this point total given that he only averages 14.3 points per game here in the playoffs, even with Young’s help.

Brook Lopez Over 13.5 Points (DraftKings Sportsbook -109)

Clint Capela may find himself the most important man in Atlanta tonight if Trae Young’s ankle is anything less than perfect. Capela somehow scraped together 11 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end, in just 28 minutes of play, while earning a team best +11 +/- rating, one of just two Hawks to have a positive value.

Capela can be found in and around the lane doing all the dirty work that rarely gets praised but is infinitely important to a team of shooters like the Hawks. He led the NBA in rebounds per game this season with 14.3, but also was the league’s best in offensive rebounds per contest with 4.42.

That knack on the offensive glass could pay huge dividends for us tonight with putbacks that carve chunks out of this combo total, as Young may be forced to do his damage from long-range if he can’t cut and drive as he does at full health.

Capela has topped this combined points and rebounds total in seven of his 15 playoff games thus far (46.7%) and did so in 47 of his 63 regular season games (74.6%). He also had another four games during the regular season where he reached exactly 23 combined points and rebounds.

We expect his importance tonight to emulate that stellar regular season where he averaged 15.2 points and 14.3 rebounds per game (29.5 combined).