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NBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our 4 Best Bets for Wednesday, Including Warriors vs. Nuggets & Bucks vs. Bulls

NBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our 4 Best Bets for Wednesday, Including Warriors vs. Nuggets & Bucks vs. Bulls article feature image
Credit:

Via Boston Globe/Getty Images. Pictured: Steph Curry.

  • The NBA Playoffs continue on Wednesday night with a pair of Game 5s in the 3-6 matchups.
  • The Bucks look to close out the Bulls in Milwaukee while the Warriors hope to eliminate the Nuggets in San Francisco.
  • Our NBA analysts have four bets with value for these games, and read on for their picks and analysis below.

The NBA Playoffs continue on Wednesday night with two Game 5s in Milwaukee and San Francisco. Our Action Network NBA analysts have four best bets queued up, including two bets each on BullsBucks and NuggetsWarriors. Check out their analysis and picks below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks
7:30 p.m. ET
Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks
7:30 p.m. ET
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors
10 p.m. ET
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors
10 p.m. ET

Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Pick
Over 217.5
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Kenny Ducey: We’ve seen the under hit in the first four games of this series, and now the offensive force known as Zach LaVine will be absent for Game 5. Chicago has had a rough go of it trying to score, so now surely it will go quietly into the night and lose this game convincingly. Right?

Well, the Bulls may lose — and they may even lose by double-digits — but I think they will help us get to our first (and maybe only) over of the series. In the minutes LaVine played this season, the Bulls played at a pace of 99.36, and in the playoffs, that number was 100.99. With LaVine off the floor during the regular season, the pace quickened by +.65, and in this series against the Bucks, the pace has increased by +.81 in the non-LaVine minutes.

We know the Bucks to be the pace kings of the NBA, ranking third in that department during the regular season, and that’s likely the reason that this series has been played at the second-quickest tempo thus far. I believe it will get even faster now without LaVine and possibly Alex Caruso, whom the Bulls are also playing quicker with off the floor.

Speaking of which, the Bulls allowed roughly 10 more points per 100 possessions this year with Caruso off the floor, which should help the Bucks post a better offensive rating than they did the game before for a fourth straight game. Milwaukee has found ways to score without Khris Middleton, and with a weakened defense and an even quicker pace, I think we will see some points here.


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Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Pick
Bulls First Half Under 49.5 (-135)
Book
BetMGM
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Raheem Palmer: The Bulls have struggled to score efficiently throughout much of their first round playoff series against the Bucks. They rank last among playoff teams with a 94.2 Offensive Rating — 10 points below the second-worst team.

Game 2 was clearly an outlier performance. In that game, the Bulls scored 114 points with 85 points coming from DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic combined. Outside of that game, the Bucks have mostly kept this trio in check.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, things won’t get any better as LaVine is expected to miss Game 5 after entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The Bulls were already facing an uphill battle against a championship caliber Bucks defense, but they’ll now have to do it without one of their best players.

As I’ve noted throughout this series, the Bulls haven’t capitalized on the Bucks’ weaknesses, specifically defending the 3-point line. While the Bucks allow the second-highest frequency of 3-point field goals (41.8%), this season the Bulls took the lowest percentage of 3-point field goals (30.4%), and throughout this series, they’re shooting  just 28% from behind the arc.

In addition, the Bulls have struggled to score at the rim where they’ve shot 42.3%, 44.4% and 56.5% in Games 1, 3, and 4. With this team unable to score from the most efficient areas of the floor and not generating many free throw attempts, it’s tough to imagine a high offensive output from the Bulls.

The opening total for Game 1 was 230, and despite adjusting down to 224.5, 222 and 219 and Games 2, 3 and 4, they can’t adjust enough for how poor this Bulls offense has performed.

I’m going to play the under 218, but I’ll also play Bulls’ first half under at 49.5.

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Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Warriors Team Total Over 117.5
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Munaf Manji: The Warriors are scoring in bunches during this series against the Nuggets. In fact, the Warriors have scored 118 or more points in every game so far in this series. The Warriors have also scored a 120+ in three out of the four games and in both home games.

So far in the playoffs, the Warriors have the top Offensive Rating at 125.4. Additionally, they also lead in field goals made, field goal percentage, 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage. As a result, the Warriors have gotten whatever they want on the offensive end of the court.

Defensively, the Nuggets are struggling to defend the Warriors’ “death lineup” of Curry, Thompson, Green, Poole and Wiggins. The Nuggets rank dead last in all major defensive categories in the playoffs. Despite Poole and Curry not having a great shooting night in Game 4, I expect them to bounce back in a big way tonight against the Nuggets as they look to close the series on their home floor.


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Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Nikola Jokic Under 20.5 Rebounds and Assists
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Joe Dellera: The Warriors have dominated this series and likely put an end to the Nuggets’ season today. Despite this, Nikola Jokic has played well as the Nuggets’ primary scorer and offensive threat. This is a bit of a pivot off of his regular season role where he was also used as a primary facilitator for this team rather than looking to score first.

With this change in role, there’s value on his props. He’s scoring too much with back-to-back 37-point games; however, he has been assisting less and is averaging about 2.5 fewer assists per game in the playoffs than in the regular season.

Additionally, his scoring coupled with the Warriors forcing so many switches and stretching Jokic out to the perimeter is taking him away from rebound opportunities, and his rebounds are down two full rebounds per game from the regular season. During this series, he’s averaging 31.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists this series.

This is not an uncommon trend for Jokic as he’s needed to score more in the Playoffs. His rebounds and assists line is currently set at 20.5, and this is a number he has cleared in just one game this series and two of the last 14 games in the last two Playoffs. In his career, he has cleared the 20.5 RA threshold in just 13/47 Playoff games (27.7%).

Take the under here, and don’t consider it a fade of the likely two-time MVP, rather, consider it a change in his role.


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