Friday NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Favorite Bets for Hawks vs. Bucks Game 2 (June 25)

Friday NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Favorite Bets for Hawks vs. Bucks Game 2 (June 25) article feature image

David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks.

  • Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Hawks and Bucks tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET Friday night.
  • The series started with an upset thanks to Trae Young's historic performance, but the Bucks (-8) are still significant favorites.
  • Here's how our NBA experts are betting the game.

Are you a believer yet?

The Atlanta Hawks pulled off yet another outright win as an underdog in a Game 1 — their third series opening win this postseason — to take a 1-0 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals.

How will Game 2 shake out? Our NBA analysts have some conflicting thoughts with two writers on opposite sides of the full-game spread, one on the first half spread and another betting a prop.

Take a look at their analysis and betting picks below.

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NBA Odds & Picks

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Hawks vs. Bucks Spread
Hawks vs. Bucks Spread
Hawks vs. Bucks 1H Spread
Hawks vs. Bucks Prop

Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Hawks +8
8:30 p.m. ET

Kenny Ducey: Mike Budenholzer hasn’t adjusted to what the opponent has thrown his way once this entire postseason, so why would he begin now?

The Hawks’ physicality has made Brook Lopez considerably less ineffective, Trae Young torched the team’s best hope at defending him for a career high scoring night in Game 1, and most importantly this offense remains unimaginative.

Milwaukee’s essentially running either a Jrue Holiday/Giannis Antetokounmpo pick-and-roll, a Giannis isolation play, or Khris Middleton will take the ball up, stop in the lane and try a turnaround jumper. Those are their three plays, and it doesn’t seem they stray from that offense all that much.

The Bucks thrived all season long in transition, pushing towards the top of the league in Pace and transition buckets. That has completely fallen by the wayside in the postseason in favor of more half-court sets, and that’s where this team’s looked wildly uncomfortable.

Do I think the Hawks will win this game? It’s definitely possible, but unlikely. I don’t, however, see Milwaukee pulling away with such a depressing offense.

Atlanta has shown the ability to turn it up on that end of the floor, and it just feels like a hot shooting night is coming any day now. Perhaps with the return of Cam Reddish, this team gets a jolt on offense and just shoots the lights out.

Either way, I don’t see a large discrepancy here and think that an eight-point spread is still far too high.

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks -8

Raheem Palmer: How many times is Khris Middleton going to shoot 6-of-23 from the field and 0-of-9 from the behind the arc? Milwaukee's offense ran well under expectation in Wednesday’s Game 1, but based on how they’ve performed during these playoffs, that seemed par for the course.

They haven’t covered a single Game 1 during this postseason struggling to score efficiently in all three matchups. Whether it’s Game 1 nervousness or just a product of negative variance, the Bucks are shooting a combined 19-of-97 from behind the arc in Game 1s throughout this postseason and they’ve seen major jumps their Offensive Rating as the past two series have gone on.

I’m expecting the same here against the Hawks who have no answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo and is missing one of their defensive wings in De'Andre Hunter. With the Bucks figuring out how to manage Trae Young by switching every screen-and-roll in the fourth quarter, it’s tough to image that he’ll put up another 48 point, 11 assist, 7 rebound performance again.

It speaks volumes that even with Young’s big performance and Middleton struggling, the Hawks won Game 1 by just three points. I'm going in the opposite direction of Kenny here. I like the Bucks to win Game 2 and tie the series and I’ll lay the points at -8.

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks -4.5 (1H)

Austin Wang: I wrote about this in greater detail in the Game 2 betting guide, but don’t trust this Bucks team to close out in clutch situations.  I think Young and the Hawks are talented and gritty enough to be live in this game or even sneak in for a backdoor cover of such a high spread.

Instead, my pick is on the Bucks to cover the first half spread of -4.5. Milwaukee is 27-12-2 against the spread in the first half as home favorites this season, per our Bet Labs tool.

They are 4-0-2 in 1H ATS in this spot during this postseason. I think the home favorites take care of business in the first half and would play this up to -5.

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Clint Capela Over 1.5 STL + BLK (-155)

Brandon Anderson: I had to double-check check this line three times to make sure it wasn’t 2.5.

In the regular season, Capela went over 1.5 stocks on blocks alone in 36-of-63 games, hitting the over with blocks alone 57% of the time. Add in the steals, and Capela went over the line 44 times, an impressive 70% hit rate. Over the entire regular season and playoffs, Capela is now over 1.5 stocks in 52-of-76 games, a 68% hit rate.

The numbers are in our favor here, and Capela is such a huge shot blocker that this over will be in play until the clock reads 0:00. Remember, you can block multiple shots in the same possession, so Capela could swat two shots and hit this over in any second of the game. Let’s give him the chance.

This is our top play on the board today. We project Capela at 3.0 steals + blocks and give this prop a healthy 22% edge in our favor. I’ll play the over to -160.

Check out more of the top player props on tonight's slate here.

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Jun 20, 2024 UTC