Can Kevin Huerter stay hot against the Bucks to begin the ECF?. (Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire)
- The Bucks and Hawks return to Milwaukee for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) and Trae Young (ankle) are both injury concerns for this pivotal game
- Read below for the Game 5 player props and best bets
The Milwaukee Bucks blew a massive opportunity in Game 4 with Trae Young sitting out. It was a nightmare-worthy evening for Milwaukee, who not only lost the game, but saw Giannis Antetokounmpo get helped off the court. The two-time MVP reportedly has no structural damage in his knee, though it’s unclear if he’ll be available for Game 5 at Fiserv Forum on Thursday July, 1st.
Young suffered a bone bruise to his ankle. Even in his absence, the Hawks had enough to beat the Bucks in Game 4 and level the series. This is a difficult game for bettors and bookies alike with such uncertainty over the two most-important players. Milwaukee is favored by 2.5 points.
Bucks vs Hawks Game 5 Player Props
|MIL vs ATL||Points at FanDuel||Rebounds||Assists||Three Pointers Made|
|Khris Middleton (MIL)||27.5 (O -120 | U -102)||8.5 (O -106 | U -114)||6.5 (O -128 | U +102)||2.5 (O -142 | U +112)|
|Jrue Holiday (MIL)||23.5 (O -106 | U -116)||5.5 (O -130 | U +106)||9.5 (O -142 | U +116)||2.5 (O +126 | U -162)|
|Brook Lopez (MIL)||13.5 (O -110 | U -110)||6.5 (O +108 | U -132)||OFF||1.5 (O +176 | U -230)|
|Clint Capela (ATL)||10.5 (O -110 | U -110)||11.5 (O -118 | U -104)||OFF||OFF|
|John Collins (ATL)||15.5 (O -106 | U -116)||8.5 (O -124 | U +102)||OFF||1.5 (O +152 | U -196)|
|Kevin Huerter (ATL)||13.5 (O -106 | U -116)||3.5 (O -142 | U +116)||3.5 (O -154 | U +126)||2.5 (O +126 | U -162)|
Odds as of Jul 01
Red Velvet Does It Again
Kevin Huerter has been a good NBA player for a couple of seasons. Only in the spotlight of the playoffs, though, has Red Velvet got the plaudits he deserves. Countless times he has come up big for the Hawks in this postseason run, and with Trae Young either not playing or playing through pain, Huerter is going to be key in Game 5.
He was only a bit part player until the second half of the series with the Sixers. Inserted into the starting lineup, Huerter has seen a massive increase in his shot totals.
“IT SMELLS LIKE RED VELVET IN HERE” 🤣
John Collins had to gas up Kevin Huerter pic.twitter.com/cyTu7LaE07
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 26, 2021
He averaged just 7.7 field goal attempts in Atlanta’s first 10 postseason games. He’s averaged 13.5 shots per game since then, registering at least 10 per outing. With DeAndre Hunter out and Bogdan Bogdanovic suffering with a knee issue, Huerter has become indispensable on the wing for Nate McMillan.
Huerter’s points and assists total is 17.5 in this game. This is low. In the seven games when he’s played 35 or more minutes, the former Maryland wing has gone over that total on five occasions. Since being put into the starting five, the minutes have frequently been well into the thirties. Bogdanovic looked more like himself in Game 4, and Cam Reddish has given McMillan some surprisingly good minutes, but Huerter is still key.
Kevin Huerter has been so outstanding in these playoffs. Not just the scoring and shot-making. But he’s been so good on defense, as well as making high-level passing reads. Just a terrific player.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 28, 2021
It’s an easy over to bet here. If Young doesn’t play, there’s potential for a high assists total from Huerter, too, who has registered 14 dimes across his last two games.
- Pick: Kevin Huerter over 17.5 points and assists (-113)
2021 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Middleton Lets It Fly
Khris Middleton has had a very inconsistent postseason. Majestic fourth quarter displays have been mixed in with painfully inefficient nights. His 38-point Game 3 gem looked to have swung the series to the Bucks, but he went ice-cold in Game 4, going zero-for-seven from downtown.
one game Khris Middleton is Tracy McGrady then the next he is Omri Casspi… It’s crazy
— LegendOfWinning (@LegendOfWinning) June 30, 2021
This isn’t even his worst shooting game of the series. The All-Star wing went zero-for-nine from deep in Game 1. What’s interesting from a betting perspective, though, is how Middleton doesn’t tend to have long cold streaks as such. There are bad games, but he often bounces back with a big night in the next game.
That’s what we should be looking at here. He’s already their closer and go-to off-the-bounce scorer, but with Antetokounmpo either hobbled or unavailable, the offensive burden will be greater still.
🦌 Khris Middleton’s Journey 🦌
▪️ Born & raised in Charleston, SC
▪️ 39th pick out of Texas A&M in 2012 Draft
▪️ 1st NBA G League alum to become an NBA All-Star
▪️ 2x NBA All-Star
▪️ 38 PTS, 20 in the 4th of Bucks Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 win@Khris22m x #ThatsGame pic.twitter.com/kpOp5Ay1vF
— NBA (@NBA) June 29, 2021
The 2.5 threes line might seem very high. He’s only made three or more once in his last five games. The shots keep coming, however, with at least seven three-point attempts in the last eight games. Middleton is going to keep shooting, and he’s the sort of streaky outside shooter who could make three threes in the first few minutes of Game 5.
Milwaukee’s options are limited on offense. Middleton might not be efficient, but he should shoot enough to hit this over, particularly with Jrue Holiday struggling.
- Pick: Khris Middleton over 2.5 threes (-142)
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.