Bucks vs. Nets: The best player prop bets for Game 5
The Brooklyn Nets’ vaunted Big 3 is now a Big 1. Eight days after losing James Harden to a strained hamstring, the Nets lost Kyrie Irving to a sprained angle with six minutes remaining in the second quarter of Game 4. The seven-time All-Star was able to exit the court on his own power, but is unavailable for Game 5, and may miss the remainder of the series.
If Irving is unable to play again this postseason, it will be a huge loss for the Nets, whose two-game series advantage has disappeared in a New York minute. Irving had been averaging 23.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists prior to Game 4, and was instrumental in Brooklyn’s first round victory over the Boston Celtics. In fact, his 39-point outing on May 30 was one of the finest postseason performances in franchise history.
The cupboard isn’t entirely bare for the Nets, who still have a two-time NBA Finals MVP in Kevin Durant, but their formerly fearsome roster is now being held together by duct tape and bubble gum.
Wed, June 16 2021, 12:40 AM
We’ve examined tonight’s matchup closely and have selected the three best players props to wager on.
Kevin Durant Over/Under 35.5 points
It certainly wasn’t by design, but Kevin Durant has become accustomed to playing without his superstar teammates. Brooklyn’s Big 3 only played seven games together during the regular season, and KD played five games without Irving and Harden. The good news for the Nets (yes, there is a little bit of that) is that he averaged close to 34 points in those games despite facing double - and sometimes triple - coverage.
35.5 points is a high projection for most mortals, but we’re talking about the "Slim Reaper" here. Durant is a four-time scoring champ who scored 36 points or more eight times this season, and has dropped 40 points or more 12 times in his postseason career. The most recent occasion was in Game 4 against the Celtics, when he erupted for 42 points on 14-20 shooting, so it’s not as though we’re dredging up ancient history.
The Bucks will throw everything but the kitchen sink at Durant tonight, and he’ll respond with another outrageous scoring display. Sit back and enjoy the fireworks.
Mike James Over/Under 20.5 points, rebounds, and assists
Put your hand up if you predicted earlier this season that the Nets’ lead point guard would be an undrafted grinder from Lamar. Anybody? Anybody at all? We didn’t think so.
Brooklyn signed Mike James to a 10-day contract in April merely as an insurance policy, but the 30-year-old will be thrust into the limelight tonight as Irving and Harden watch from the sidelines. There’s no question that James’ production will increase with added playing time in Game 5, but the 20.5 projection set by oddsmakers feels like a reach.
James only played 10 minutes combined in the Nets’ first round series against the Boston Celtics, and even though he’s averaged 21.6 minutes per game against the Bucks, he’s only surpassed 20.5 points, rebounds, and assists once. That was in Game 1, when James chipped in 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
James has shown that he belongs in the NBA, but bettors would still be wise to take the Under tonight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo to record a double-double and Bucks to win
The odds of Giannis Antetokounmpo recording a double-double are set at -10000, which makes sense, since "The Greek Freak" accomplished the feat 41 times during the regular season and has already recorded eight straight double-doubles since the playoffs began.
Luckily for you, TwinSpires Sports has packaged his odds of recording a double-double with the Bucks winning at -155. That’s an attractive price point considering that the Nets will be without two of their biggest stars and the Bucks are 22-15 as a road favorite this season and are coming off a convincing 11-point win in Game 4.