Giannis Antetokounmpo needs a big night to take the Bucks two up in the series
21:15 Monday 24th May 2021 - 3 minute read
The Bucks won Game 1 but can they repeat that feat in Game 2 tonight? Zach Rainey takes a look at the game from a betting angle with a prop bet for Kris Middleton...
The first weekend of the NBA Playoffs was everything a basketball fan could’ve hoped for.
We have plenty of drama going already, with multiple “favorites” losing Game 1. I say favorites loosely, as the Phoenix Suns are the higher ranked seed, but the Los Angeles Lakers were and remain the favorite to win the series.
The schedule is a bit more lax Monday with just two games compared to the four on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Miami Heat are out to prove that last season’s upset over Milwaukee in the bubble wasn’t just a fluke. They took the Bucks to overtime off Jimmy Butler blowing by Giannis Antetokounmpo on the last possession of regulation. Butler had a below average game, but came through when the team needed.
While eventually falling in overtime, Miami is going to be a tough out for Milwaukee the rest of the way. They match up better than I realized, with Bam Adebayo bothering Giannis when trying to attack the basket. I lost count of how many missed shots from within two feet Giannis had down the stretch.
Goran Dragic played better for Miami than I thought. After watching Dragic go for 20 a game in last year’s playoffs, I was disappointed with his production during the regular season. But it looks like he was saving it for the playoffs. We have playoff Rondo, now it looks like we have playoff Dragic.
Kris Middleton proved to be Milwaukee’s best crunch time player, so I expect to see him step up down the stretch, as he can both create his own shot as well as drive to the rim.
Above all else, I think it was Jrue Holiday’s perimeter defense that got Milwaukee the win, and is one reason I’m big on the Bucks going forward.
I like Milwaukee’s odds at -4.5 tonight before heading down to South Beach for the next two games.
I will be eager to see how Milwaukee does on the road in this series, but holding home court advantage, they really just need to get one out in Miami and return home to ideally end the series in five.
For our prop of the game, let’s take Middleton over 5.5 assists.
Like I said above, I expect Middleton to have the ball in his hands more in crunch time, whether that’s creating his own shot or finding Giannis under the rim or Brook Lopez for a drive and kick three, I like the value it offers at plus money.
You can get it at +120 at BetMGM and PointsBet and +128 at 888Sport, BetRivers and Unibet.