Two major injury questions are hanging over Thursday’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals as both Hawks star Trae Young and Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo could miss it. The series is tied 2-2 and Milwaukee is a short favorite on the NBA odds.
How to Bet Hawks at Bucks NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 8:30 PM ET
- Where: Fiserv Forum
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Hawks were 9-point underdogs in Game 4 but won in a shocker, 110-88. It tied for the second-largest upset (via spread) in a conference finals game over the last 30 seasons. Atlanta was such a big underdog because star guard Trae Young was ruled out about an hour beforehand as he was recovering from a bone bruise in his right foot. In these playoffs, he’s averaging 29.8 points on 42.7 percent field goal shooting and a 32.6 percent 3-point percentage. He’s also averaging 9.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Young is a game-time decision for this one.
Lou Williams started in Young’s spot for Game 4, Williams’ first career playoff start in 87 career playoff games. He had 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting and added eight assists and five rebounds with just one turnover in 35 minutes. Williams did not miss a shot in the first half, scoring 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor as the Hawks entered the locker room with a 13-point lead.
“When we saw in our starting five that we had Lou Williams, we were super confident man,” Bogdan Bogdanovic said. “You see what that man can do? He was thinking about retirement this year? Man, he can still hoop.”
Bogdanovic also came up big with 20 points and five assists. He added four first-half assists to become is the first Hawks player to record four steals in a playoff half since Paul Millsap did so on April 28, 2017. Bogdanovic has recorded 26 steals this postseason, the most by any player in the NBA. He’s swiped at least one steal in seven consecutive games, making him the only player in the NBA with two streaks of six-or-more games with a steal this postseason.
Cam Reddish had played just one game in these playoffs but had 12 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes while playing good defense. Coach Nate McMillan isn’t sure if his minute-limit will increase prior to Thursday’s Game 5.
“He has length, and he takes pride in defending,” McMillan said of Reddish’s defense. “He’s one of the few guys in this league that actually — that’s his game. That’s where he draws his energy from. It’s not so much the offensive end of the floor. He comes out from the start wanting to play defense.”
Atlanta allowed just 38 points in the first half vs. Milwaukee, the Hawks’ lowest total allowed in a playoff first half since giving up 33 at Boston on April 28, 2016.
Why Bet on Milwaukee?Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo left Game 4 with just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter. He had jumped up to contest an alley-oop from John Collins to Clint Capela, and Antetokounmpo landed awkwardly on his left leg, his knee buckling. The Bucks were down 10 at that point, but Atlanta closed the third on a 25-10 run to blow it open.
Will the Freak play here? The ligaments in Antetokounmpo’s knee are sound, but a timetable for his return is unclear. He is listed as doubtful, which technically means only a 25 percent chance of playing. Antetokounmpo, who had averaged 40.6 minutes in each of the Bucks’ last eight playoff games coming into Tuesday night, was already hampered with tightness in his left calf. If he sits, it would present a serious challenge for a Bucks team already down a starter (Donte DiVincenzo) and with limited depth.
Khris Middleton certainly would need to have a huge game on Thursday for a victory. He was great in Game 3 but not Game 4 with just 16 points on 6-for-17 shooting. He was 0-for-7 from deep. Middleton has surpassed the 20-point mark just once in the current series after averaging 24.3 points per game in the conference semifinals against the Nets.
Jrue Holiday had 19 points, nine assist and five rebounds in the loss. He bounced back from an awful showing in Game 3 where he recorded just six points and has scored at least 19 points in three of four games during the series. Jrue Holiday is now up to averaging 8.1 assists per game this postseason. That average is currently the fourth-highest in Bucks playoff history and is the highest since Paul Pressey averaged 8.6 apg during the 1987 postseason.
The Bucks have a 6-1 mark at Fiserv Forum this postseason. Overall in the two seasons of playoffs at Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee has gone 12-3 at home.
- Hawks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- Hawks are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
- Bucks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
- Bucks are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Hawks are 13-4 ATS in the last 17 meetings in Milwaukee.
- Hawks 103, Bucks 101
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