Hawks vs. Bucks: The best player prop bets for Game 1
The Eastern Conference Finals matchup that no one anticipated - and advertisers are dreading - is finally upon us, as the Atlanta Hawks prepare to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday at Fiserv Forum.
Both teams had to survive epic Game 7 slugfests in order to reach this point. The Hawks downed the heavily favored Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday to earn a gritty 103-96 victory. It was Atlanta’s third road win of the series, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the heroics of Trae Young, who broke out of a game-long shooting slump to nail a decisive three.
The Bucks, meanwhile, needed a full 53 minutes to finally put away the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined to score 63 points as Milwaukee pulled off a pulse-pounding 115-111 overtime win.
The Bucks are playing in their first Eastern Conference Finals since 2019, when they lost in six games to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors, while the Hawks haven’t gone this deep in the playoffs since 2015, when they were swept by the LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thu, June 24 2021, 12:40 AM
We’ve examined Wednesday night’s matchup closely and have selected the three best players props to wager on.
Trae Young Over/Under 28.5 points
Much has been made of Young’s ability to light up the scoreboard, but the Bucks were the one team that held him in check during the regular season. Milwaukee limited the All-Star guard to 15 points on 3-17 shooting in a breezy 120-109 victory on April 15. Much of the credit goes to Jrue Holiday, who disrupted Young with his superior size and strength, and goaded him into shooting floaters.
Although Young played just one game against the Bucks in 2021, he also struggled against them during the 2019-20 season. His 22.0 points per game average against Milwaukee was his fifth lowest against any team, and included a dismal 12-point effort in a game on Dec. 27.
The Bucks won’t be able to keep Young off the score sheet entirely, but they’ll make him work for every basket and will keep him under Wednesday’s projected point total.
Kevin Huerter Over/Under 13.5 points
The Hawks wouldn’t be in the Eastern Conference Finals were it not for the steady play of Kevin Huerter. The "Red Mamba" poured in a team-high 27 points in Game 7 against the Sixers and singlehandedly kept Atlanta afloat while Young struggled to find his stroke. It was Huerter’s second straight strong outing after he chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds two days earlier.
Huerter isn’t in the same class as the electrifying Young, but he’s a quietly dependable scorer who averaged 11.9 points per game during the regular season and topped 13.5 points on 22 occasions. With De'Andre Hunter out with a meniscus tear and Bogdan Bogdanovic hobbled by knee soreness, Huerter should have plenty of opportunities to shine again on Wednesday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Over/Under 13.5 rebounds
13.5 rebounds is a big total for any player, but it’s especially huge when they’re facing the Hawks. Atlanta has been the NBA’s fifth best rebounding team in the postseason and is holding opponents to just 45.3 boards per contest. That’s a testament to the efforts of Clint Capela, who led the league in rebounding during the regular season, and John Collins, who has averaged 12.3 rebounds over his last four games. Both players are long, active, and athletic, and are perfectly suited to keep Antetokounmpo off the glass.
"The Greek Freak" will likely still get a bushel of boards, but the high-flying Hawks will prevent him from grabbing 14 rebounds or more in Game 1.