DeAndre Ayton’s last-second alley-oop proved to be the game-winner and gave the Phoenix Suns a commanding 2-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams have superstars sidelined, but it has been the Suns who have proved that they have the depth to withstand missing their MVP candidate. Tonight we will get Game 1 of a totally unexpected Eastern Conference Finals showdown between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta has surprised all but the most hardcore fans this postseason, making good on a tremendous offseason combined with internal growth.
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1. Hawks +8 | -109 at DraftKings Sportsbook
I didn’t even have to see the line to know the Atlanta Hawks would likely be the better value for tonight’s game. However, the eight point spread is a glaring value. Yes, the Bucks are the better team but Atlanta has been playing just as well this postseason and has the depth (and healthy stars) to compete. The Bucks ability to dispatch Kevin Durant and the bobbled Brooklyn Nets could be a reason that they are such large favorites. However, they did find a way to lose a regular-season game to Atlanta. While this game could still result in a blowout, the Hawks are a much different team than the one that lost two of three to Milwaukee during the regular season. The Bucks would have been a value at -6 or lower (and possibly even -7), but with the line moving to -8, the Hawks are worth the tap instead.
2. Jrue Holiday Over 7.5 Assists | -113 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Jrue Holiday has been a godsend for the Milwaukee Bucks. After somehow letting former rookie of the year (controversial or not) Malcolm Brogdon walk in free agency, the Bucks have been desperate for an answer at the point. Jrue has been everything the Bucks hoped for and more both on and off the court. He has been a little shaky from the field but has made his mark with big shots, strong defense, hauling on boards, and handing out dimes. Averaging 7.5 assists this postseason, Holiday has hit eight or more assists in three of his last four contests. His average being right on the number suggests more value on the under, but recent play tips the scales ever so slightly towards the over holding the value. Tap the over for one unit.
3. Jrue Holiday Under 18.5 Points| -124 at DraftKings Sportsbook
The Milwaukee Bucks advanced despite Jrue Holiday shooting sub .400 in five of his seven games against the Brooklyn Nets. Despite his G-League level shooting, he provided a steadying force and was able to connect on some big buckets when it mattered the most. Truly the X-factor in the Bucks postseason success, Holiday has proven he can contribute even when his shot is off. Holiday is expected to shoot poorly from the field once again in this series, thanks in large part to having to cover Trae Young. He has seen his field goal percentage sink in every postseason but one and this year has been no different. Holiday did see the shot volume to hit 19 or more points in two of his last three games but managed to cross that barrier just three times in his last 10. Tap the under for a single unit and observe his play with an eye on possible adjustments on Friday.
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