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Tuesday NBA Player Prop Picks & Predictions: 3 Bets for Hawks vs. Bucks, Including Bobby Portis & Jrue Holiday (June 29)

Tuesday NBA Player Prop Picks & Predictions: 3 Bets for Hawks vs. Bucks, Including Bobby Portis & Jrue Holiday (June 29) article feature image

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jrue Holiday.

  • The Atlanta Hawks take on the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night.
  • With Trae Young questionable with a bone bruise, a lot of question marks surround the game, making betting even more difficult.
  • In the middle of everything, Brandon Anderson still found three props bets and explained each pick below.

Heading into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, it’s tricky to know what to expect.

The Milwaukee Bucks are up 2-1 on the Atlanta Hawks after gritting out a win, and that was aided by a second-half injury to Trae Young, who stepped on a referee’s foot and twisted his ankle.

Young was clearly limited by the injury late last game, and he’s listed as questionable for Game 4 with a bone bruise. He did go through shootaround, and it would be a surprise to see him not at least give it a go. Young’s presence dictates so much for both teams that it’s tough to get a feel for this game going in.

Tread carefully with your bets. This might be a night to stick with half-unit picks on these props on a tricky slate.

For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.

Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.

NBA Player Props & Picks

Jrue Holiday, Over 1.5 Steals (+100)

Bucks vs. Hawks Bucks -7
Time | TV 8:30 p.m. ET | TNT
Best Book BetMGM

While Atlanta’s point guard is a question mark, we know Milwaukee’s will be raring and ready to go.

Jrue Holiday has had an up-and-down series thus far. He was huge in Game 1, up for the challenge against Young with 33 points and 10 assists, though Young showed him up with an even bigger line and stole the road win. Holiday was good again in Game 2 with 22 points in a win, but he couldn’t find his shot in Game 3, scoring only six points on 2-of-11 shooting.

The thing about Holiday is that he’s still really valuable even when the shot isn’t falling because he’s one of the best defensive guards in the league. Holiday has had a terrific postseason on defense even though he’s had his hands full. Last round, he spent time defending Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and even Kevin Durant and more than held his own.

This series, Young is Holiday’s main assignment, and you have to believe the injury to Trae gives Holiday — no pun intended — a leg up. Even if Young does play, he might be just a quarter-step slower or have less of an ability to juke, and that could allow Holiday to really get into him and press his physical advantage.

And if Young plays fewer minutes with Bogdan Bogdanovic also struggling with injuries, that’s another reason to believe Holiday could have a big defensive game.

Holiday has five steals through three games, going over 1.5 in two of the three. He had multiple steals in 32-of-59 regular-season games, hitting this over 54% of the time. During the regular season, Holiday averaged a steal every 19.9 minutes on the court. He’s playing about twice that many minutes right now, and the math says that anything over 30 minutes puts that equation in our favor.

I’ll play the over here and look for another night of theft from Holiday. I’ll play the over to -120.

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And more …

Pat Connaughton, Over 0.5 Assists (-150)

Bucks vs. Hawks Bucks -7
Time | TV 8:30 p.m. ET | TNT
Best Book BetMGM

It’s easy to forget with all the bigger injury question marks around the rest of the teams remaining, but the Bucks are short a starter too. Donte DiVincenzo had become a perfect fifth starter for this team by doing all of the little things, and the Bucks have struggled to find the right replacement in his place.

Against the Nets, that new fifth starter was P.J. Tucker, and that made sense against Kevin Durant since Tucker defends him so well, relatively speaking. But lately, Pat Connaughton has become an increasingly important player for the Bucks.

You can see the change in Game 4 against the Nets when Connaughton played 21.6 minutes — his highest total of the playoffs to that point — in a double-digit Nets win.

Ever since that game, Connaughton has started to take on that do-everything DiVincenzo role. He’s averaging 24.7 minutes per game in his last seven games, compiling 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game. It’s not flashy, but he’s helping a bit with everything.

Our Props Tool likes Connaughton’s overs tonight, and it slightly prefers his combo over of 11.5 points + rebounds + assists. He’s gone over that one in five of these last seven games. I like that one, too, but I’m choosing to zero in on just the assists — or in this case, assist, singular.

We need just one assist to his this over, and Connaughton has at least one assist in nine of his 14 playoff games this year, hitting this over 64% of the time. In the regular season, he had an assist in 46-of-69 games, a 67% hit rate. And if you limit that to games with at least 20 minutes played like he’s seen lately, that hit rate goes up to a robust 73% at 33-of-45 games.

With juice at -150, that’s an implied hit rate of 60%. As you can see from our numbers above, that means this one is in our favor, even more so if Connaughton’s minutes are up again like they have been lately.

The numbers would suggest this is playable as high as -200 or beyond, but I’ll probably play to -175 or pivot to that PRA combo over if necessary.

Bobby Portis, Over 13.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-110)

Bucks vs. Hawks Bucks -7
Time | TV 8:30 p.m. ET | TNT
Best Book BetMGM

I warned you — it’s an ugly slate. Bet safely, or hold your money for another night.

Still, part of my hesitation for tonight’s game is because my spidey senses wonder if this could turn into a blowout and crush all the stars’ overs.

That’s been happening in a few games lately, and it could easily happen if Young is limited and the Hawks just don’t have enough left — or if he does play and the Bucks go ice cold on shots again.

That’s part of why I’m playing players like Connaughton and Portis; they’re somewhat blowout-proof. That is, if this game does go to some garbage time, these are just the sort of guys who might actually benefit in that scenario because they should get even more minutes.

Portis has been really productive in the minutes he’s been getting. He didn’t even play one second in the final three games against the Nets because he’s such a problem defensively, but the Hawks’ second unit isn’t quite as deadly, and Portis has thrived in his bench role this series.

In Game 1, Portis had one of his best games of the postseason with 11 points and eight rebounds in under 15 minutes. He didn’t do quite as much in the Game 2 blowout win, putting up eight points and three boards, but bounced back for 15 points and four rebounds in Game 3. He had an assist in each of those games, too, and he’s dominating the glass with five offensive rebounds despite playing only 16.4 minutes per game.

I like the matchup for Portis, and he’s produced in limited time this postseason.

Excluding the Nets series when he just wasn’t the right player for the matchup, Portis has recorded at least 12 points + rebounds + assists in all seven postseason games, giving him a very high floor and putting him a bucket away from an over 13.5.

He’s gone over that line in five of seven non-Nets games these playoffs. He went over 13.5 PRA in 49-of-66 regular-season games as well, hitting the over 74% of the time.

I’ll play the combo over and trust Portis to hit the glass and find a few buckets off the bench. I’ll play to -125.

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