Wizards vs. Bucks: The best player prop bets for Feb. 1
The first half of the TNT doubleheader tonight is a matchup between the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Wizards. Both teams are floundering, with the Wizards carrying a five-game losing streak, and the Bucks owning a 5-5 record over their last 10 games.
Bradley Beal is dealing with a sprained wrist and will miss tonight's contest, leaving it up to a Wizards ensemble cast to try and slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo and steal a win on the road.
Wizards vs. Bucks is set to tip-off at 4:30 p.m ET on TNT, and we have the three best player props bets below.
Wed, February 2 2022, 12:30 AM
GIANNIS Antetokounmpo OVER/UNDER 30.5 POINTS
The Wizards were praised for adding to their depth this offseason, but they’ve shown the limitations of depth in recent weeks. With both Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant returning to the lineup and Washington struggling, Wes Unseld Jr. has opted to bench Daniel Gafford, taking him out of the rotation for the time being.
That takes Washington’s best defensive big off the court, and in his stead are Montrezl Harrell and Bryant. Harrell’s defensive limitations are well known, but perhaps not as well known are Bryant’s. Bryant has only played eight games this season as he rehabbed from a torn ACL, but even before the injury, he has been a negative defender his entire career.
The Wizards this season are 9.2 points per possession worse defensively with Bryant on the court, per Cleaning the Glass. If you prefer a larger sample, last season in twice as many minutes they were 3.0 points worse. Bryant doesn’t have either the feel or physical strength necessary to bang bodies with the league's better centers, and certainly not with Giannis.
After hovering near the top half of the league on defense for much of the year, Washington has slipped to 22nd, and over the last two weeks is playing like a bottom-five defensive outfit.
The Wizards' bigs are uniquely ill-suited to defend Giannis and his combination of skill, agility, and strength, and their team chemistry and wing play are not nearly good enough to compensate for it.
GRAYSON ALLEN OVER/UNDER 1.5 3-POINT FIELD GOALS MADE
It’s unfortunate that Grayson Allen is only known by most of the basketball public for his unsportsmanlike (and sometimes outright dangerous) antics, because he’s become a pretty damn good basketball player.
For role players in the NBA, the name of the game is opportunity. That’s why vets are always repeating the same two words over and over like a mantra: stay ready. Allen clearly took those words to heart, because following his trade from the Memphis Grizzlies to Milwaukee, the former Blue Devil has seized his opportunity with both hands.
With a career-high in minutes, shot attempts, and overall responsibility, Allen has done what very few in his position manage to do - he’s shouldered it all while somehow getting even more efficient. Allen is shooting 6.7 3s per game and he’s hitting 39.24% of them, both gains on his last season in Memphis despite his new role.
And the Bucks are working to find him. Allen is tied with LaMelo Ball in taking the most wide-open 3s in the NBA, at 4.6 per game, working off screens and generally benefiting from the immense pressure Giannis puts on opposing defenders. When defenses collapse on "The Greek Freak", more often than not Allen is the key beneficiary from behind the arc.
Defending him then is all about defending inside-out; stop Giannis and you’ll likely stop Allen too. But as discussed above, there’s little chance that the Wizards make that happen tonight.
SPENCER DINWIDDIE OVER/UNDER 16.5 POINTS
It has been a tough year for Spencer Dinwiddie. After famously trying to get his last NBA contract with the Brooklyn Nets backed by the blockchain, his play as a Wizard has waxed and waned erratically like a cryptocurrency. Dinwiddie on paper appeared to be a perfect fit next to Bradley Beal, but chemistry issues in the locker room have become a storyline of late.
But what matters most is that he just hasn’t been an efficient player. Dinwiddie is shooting 38.6% from the field and just 31.5% from deep this season while averaging 13.2 points per game. He’s struggled from every spot on the floor, and is 50th percentile or worse from every shot location among point guards, per Cleaning the Glass.
With Beal out, there’s a very real chance that Jrue Holiday is his primary defender tonight, and he’s made guards playing at a much higher level than Dinwiddie wilt under his defensive pressure.