NBA Finals Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Game 3 Picks, Including Deandre Ayton & Khris Middleton (Sunday, July 11)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Khris Middleton.
- In must-win mode, the Bucks have two players who show value in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
- If Milwaukee is going to get on the board against the Suns, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday have to play better.
- Dan Titus breaks down how he's backing that pair and Deandre Ayton in the player-props market on Sunday night.
Game 3 of the NBA Finals!
The Suns took care of business on their home floor and are up 2-0 versus the Bucks. The Suns’ stars are locked in, with Devin Booker (31 points, five rebounds, five assists) and Chris Paul (23 points, four rebounds, eight assists) leading the way in Game 2 and being supported by Mikal Bridges’ 27 points. Giannis Antetokoumpo did his part for the Bucks, putting his team on his back with 42 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
Milwaukee is 7-1 at home in the postseason, while Phoenix is 6-2 on the road. The Bucks are 4-point favorites in a must-win scenario, given that no team has rallied from an 0-3 deficit in NBA Finals history. The game total is the highest of the series at 221.5, which means books are expecting a fast-paced, high-scoring affair.
The crowd in Milwaukee will no doubt be roaring. Will the Suns keep their foot on the gas? Can the Bucks find a way to stop the Suns’ prolific offense?
Let’s get into the action.
Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I’m playing using the Action Labs Player Prop tool, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
NBA Finals Player Props & Picks
Deandre Ayton over 27.5 Points + Rebounds (-115)
|Team vs. Team||Bucks -4|
|Time | TV||8:00 p.m. ET | ABC|
I’m going back to the well.
Deandre Ayton came back down to earth in Game 2, posting 10 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. He remains a walking double-double, though, and despite the off-night, I’m expecting him to bounce back in Game 3.
Ayton’s been the poster boy of efficiency and rebounding this postseason. He’s shooting 69.5% from the field while averaging 16.2 points and 12.5 rebounds. He has 13 double-doubles in 18 postseason games heading into Game 3 while averaging 40.5 minutes per game in the Finals. After a Monty Williams pep talk that went viral, I’m expecting the former No. 1 pick to “dominate the game with force.”
The Suns’ big man cleared 27.5 points + rebounds in three of his last five games with an average of 31.4 over that span. He’s also eclipsed 27.5 in two of his last four against Milwaukee.
Phoenix only scored 24 points in the paint in Thursday’s Game 2 victory. Those who are concerned about the Suns’ lack of scoring in the interior don’t need to be. The Bucks elected to overextend themselves defensively in Game 2, which allowed the Suns’ playmakers to find shooters along the perimeter all game long.
The Suns knocked down 20 3-pointers, reducing the need to punish the paint with everything falling from deep. Expect the Bucks to make adjustments to limit those outside shots and close out on shooters, since that ended up being one of the biggest gaps in their hunt to keep the game competitive.
Game 2 was only the second time in the past eight games that Ayton failed to score at least 16 points. Before Thursday’s game, the last time he had a subpar game was Game 5 against the Clippers (he finished with 10 points and11 rebounds). He came back with a vengeance, dropping a 16-point, 17-rebound performance on the road in a Game 6, series-ending victory.
Ayton has also played well with two days of rest in the playoffs, delivering an average of 14 points with 17 rebounds per game. With Milwaukee in survival mode, the game will be tighter and offer him plenty of chances to control the interior. The man sees 24 potential rebounding opportunities through two games in this series.
Our Action Labs tool projects Ayton for 32.5 points + rebounds. With a bet quality rating of 9, I’m backing that.
Khris Middleton over 4.5 Assists (-150)
Middleton’s inconsistent scoring continues to be a talking point in NBA circles. His drop in production is real, with his 3-point shooting percentage falling from 42% in the regular season to 33.8% in the playoffs so far.
In a critical Game 3 matchup in the Finals, the All-Star forward will be needed more than ever.
The All-Star forward is seeing 42.3 minutes per game and is coming off an eight-assist performance in Game 2. Though his assists market is nearing juiced territory at -150, it’s still a good price to grab Middleton’s assists at 4.5. If you’re feeling risky, his assists market is available at 5.5 at plus odds.
In eight home games this postseason, Middleton is averaging 5.4 assists per contest. More impressively, he’s gone over 4.5 assists in 10 of his last 12 games and has exceeded 4.5 assists in four straight games after a loss, with an average of 7.2 assists per game in that span.
The shots haven’t been falling for the supporting cast for Milwaukee, but Middleton’s churned out 6.0 assists with 9.5 potential assists per game through two games of the Finals. With the series on the line and the Bucks on their home court, Middleton’s playmaking skills are necessary for Game 3.
The Bucks are predictable when Antetokounmpo initiates the half-court offense. The offense gets stagnant, leaving Giannis to play hero ball. I expect the Bucks to adjust their strategy and put the ball into Middleton and Holiday’s hands more frequently to put their two-time MVP in better positions to score.
The Bucks are at their best when they’re moving the ball, attacking in transition and hitting 3-pointers. Antetokounmpo may have another dominant outing, but Middleton will be just as important to turn this series around. He is averaging 5.6 assists in Milwaukee’s 11 wins in this postseason, compared to 4.4 in losses.
Our Action Labs tool projects Middleton for 5.9 assists in Game 3. He’s surpassed 4.5 assists in three of his last four games against Phoenix and with a bet quality rating of 8, I’m taking the over.
Jrue Holiday over 32.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-106)
Holiday came alive in the last three games of the Conference Finals, propelling the Bucks over the Hawks to reach the NBA Finals. He activated an offensive attack that basketball fans have been yearning for, showcasing why he is one of his generation’s most underrated point guards. But that was short-lived, and he’s officially in a rut after two Finals games.
He’s shooting 11-for-35 (31%) in the two games in Phoenix, and he’s struggling to keep Chris Paul in check defensively. He’s missed bunnies at the rim and only hit 1-of-7 3-point attempts through two games of the Finals.
But hey, shooter’s shoot, and even though Holiday can’t buy a bucket, he’s still getting up a ton of shots. Over his past five games, Holiday is averaging 19.0 field-goal attempts per game.
Something has to fall for Holiday if the Bucks are going to extend this series, and there is some optimism given his recent success at home. He registered over this total in three of his last four home games, with an average of 39.0 points + rebounds +assists in that span.
Holiday has dropped five 20-point games this postseason on his home floor and sports a plus/minus of +112 at Fiserv Forum compared to -8 on the road. He’s also shooting 46% at home compared to 38% on the road.
When Holiday scores 20 points, it’s a good sign for the Bucks. Milwaukee is 5-1 this postseason when Holiday scores at least 20 points. In those six games, Holiday averaged 24.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.4 assists.
Despite his shooting woes on the road, he’s been filling up the box score at a high rate. His current rebounds + assist market is 13.5, and he’s hit that over in four of his last five and seven of his last 10 games. He’s averaged 14.6 rebounds + assists across his last 10 games, and in a must-win scenario, he’s going to keep it up.
Our Action Labs tool projects Holiday to find his way in Game 3, producing 34.3 PRA. He’s averaging 39.7 minutes in the Finals and with the series at stake, that could easily climb into the 40s.
Holiday will be heavily involved, so backing his PRA market is a nice hedge if you don’t trust his points line at 19.5.
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