The second round of the playoffs is set to tip-off on Saturday, with the only game being Game 1 of the much-anticipated series between the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Nets defeated the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs in five games, while the Bucks handily beat the Miami Heat in four games in the first round.
During the regular season, the Nets and the Bucks met three times, with Milwaukee winning two games. Even though we could see a variety of different things occur in the playoffs, we have those three games to use as a resource when contemplating what bets to make for Saturday. Using those three games, along with Brooklyn and Milwaukee’s performances in their first-round series, these are some bets to consider.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
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Kevin Durant Over 29.5 points (-112)
It goes without saying that there will be a lot of points scored from both teams in this series. Throughout their three meetings in the regular season, the average total points scored was 240.3 points. The Nets have a superstar trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving that can combine for 100 points just by themselves.
Within the trio, Durant had a ton of success against the Bucks in the regular season, averaging 34.7 points per game versus Milwaukee, eclipsing 30 points in each game. The over/under for Durant’s points on Saturday is set at 29.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook. That is a number I’m very intrigued by, especially with Jrue Holiday likely drawing the responsibility of guarding Irving, leading to more points from Durant.
Durant has achieved over 29.5 points in three out of his last five games, including two out of his three. Regardless of who the Bucks want to place on Durant, the four-time scoring champion should have no trouble scoring in bunches. I expect Durant to be ultra-aggressive in Game 1 to set the tone on the offensive end for the Nets.
Khris Middleton Over 21.5 points (-124)
On the other side of the court, the Bucks are going to need consistent production from their big three of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Holiday. Antetokounmpo was unstoppable against the Nets in the regular season, notching an average of 39.7 points per game versus Brooklyn. The Nets had no answers for Giannis, putting a handful of different defenders on him to no avail.
Entering Game 1, Brooklyn is likely going to deploy a game plan centered around limiting Antetokounmpo as much as possible, making the other members of Milwaukee beat them. While Antetokounmpo has been fantastic in the postseason thus far, so has Middleton. Middleton is averaging 21.5 points in his first four postseason appearances this season, scoring 20+ points in three of those games.
As for when he faced the Nets, Middleton averaged 24.7 points per game. With the Bucks desperately needing scoring outside of Giannis in this series, Middleton should be the team’s second-leading scorer, which is why I’m siding with the over on Middleton’s point total of 21.5 points.
Jrue Holiday Over 7.5 assists (-134)
Over the course of the regular season, Milwaukee was at its best when Holiday was operating the offense like a true point guard. In their first-round series against the Heat, after a quiet Game 1 where he had three assists, Holiday averaged 12 assists per game in the final three games of the series. With the game likely being played at a fast pace from both teams, there will be tons of opportunities for Holiday to dish out assists.
If you were to look at Holiday’s assists numbers against the Nets in the regular season, he only averaged 6.7 assists per game. But in his last showdown with Brooklyn, Holiday recorded 10 assists, and Milwaukee has used him as more of a facilitator ever since. Also, during the regular season, the Nets surrendered only 7.69 assists per game to point guards. So why do I feel confident that Holiday can total at least eight assists?
The playoffs are a different monster than the regular season, and Holiday will be locked in to begin Game 1. On top of that, Holiday has achieved over 7.5 assists in six out of his last nine games. In a game where both teams could be out in transition often, Holiday should have a remarkable chance of getting eight assists.
NBA Prop Bets
Kevin Durant Prop Bet Odds
Khris Middleton Prop Bet Odds
Jrue Holiday Prop Bet Odds
Giannis Antetokounmpo Prop Bet Odds
James Harden Prop Bet Odds
Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>
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