Hawks vs. Bucks Game 1 Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Picks for Wednesday’s NBA Playoffs, Including Jrue Holiday & Kevin Huerter (June 23)

Hawks vs. Bucks Game 1 Player Prop Bets, Picks: 3 Picks for Wednesday’s NBA Playoffs, Including Jrue Holiday & Kevin Huerter (June 23) article feature image
Credit:

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

  • The Eastern Conference Finals begins Wednesday night with Milwaukee hosting Atlanta.
  • Kevin Huerter had a huge game the last time out for the Hawks, and he is one of the targets of Brandon Anderson's player props.
  • See which other two players Anderson is targeting in the game, below.

It’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, and it’s the “Bogdan Bowl” no one expected. The Milwaukee Bucks tried to sign Bogdan Bogdanović last offseason before he ended up in Atlanta, and now the two teams will face off for a trip to the NBA Finals.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer is back in this same position for the third time in seven seasons — twice with Milwaukee and the first time came with Atlanta in 2015. Both of these teams are coming off grueling seven-game series, so we could get a tired, sloppy game. So, how can we play that to our advantage?

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.

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NBA Player Props & Picks

Clint Capela To Record Double-Double (-114)

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

Clint Capela must be so relieved to put Joel Embiid in the rear view mirror. The Bucks will likely present a much steeper challenge for the Hawks as a whole, but Capela might find his life much easier without having to bang Embiid in the post for 30-plus minutes every game.

Capela could be tasked with defending Giannis Antetokounmpo, so it’s not like life will suddenly be peachy, but that’s still an easier matchup for him than Embiid, who was often able to just overpower Atlanta’s big man in the post. Capela averaged 10.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in the Philadelphia series, far down from his full season averages of 14.4 and 13.9. He was in foul trouble in three of the games and recorded a double-double in only three of the seven matchups.

However, check out Capela’s production over the rest of the season. For a double-double, we need at least 10 points and 10 rebounds, and the rebounds are a near certainty. Capela has at least 10 rebounds in 65 of 75 games this season — an 86.7% hit rate — and those odds increase to 91.2% if you exclude the Sixers series. The points aren’t quite as certain, but it’s still a pretty low bar. Capela had double-digit points in 58 of 75 games, good for a 77.3% hit rate.

Capela played Milwaukee twice this season and had at least 14 rebounds in both games. He scored 16 in one, but only six in the other, so this is mostly just a bet on Capela to get to 10 points because the rebounds should likely be there unless he gets hurt or in foul trouble.

Capela has 54 double-doubles this season, hitting this mark in 72% of his games, and that goes up to 75.4% if you exclude all 10 of his games against Philadelphia. We project Embiid at 11.6 points and 13.3 rebounds, so that would put him safely over our 10/10 goal. I’ll play Capela to record a double-double as high as -165 as I think this line is far too low.

Our Props Tool also likes Capela to go over 1.5 steals plus blocks, which makes sense as well. He averaged 2.0 blocks and 0.7 steals in the regular season in just 30.1 minutes per game, plus he’s playing more than that now. Excluding the tough Sixers series, Capela has gone over 1.5 stocks in 48 of 68 games, hitting that over 70.6% of the time.

The only reason not to play it is that a double-double under almost certainly means limited Capela minutes for fouls or injury, and that puts this over in jeopardy. However, if you want to get creative and combine some of these numbers for a Capela Single Game Parlay or just grab both combo props and hope for a big game, go for it.

Jrue Holiday — Over 1.5 Steals (-115)

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

Trae Young is living a charmed life in his first playoffs, regularly shushing road crowds, hitting ice cold 3-pointers from behind the arc and slicing into the paint for floaters and outrageous assists.

Yet, he might be meeting his match in Jrue Holiday. For my money, Holiday might be the NBA’s best guard defender and I think he’s going to make Young’s life absolutely miserable for the next two weeks. Holiday isn’t quite as big as Ben Simmons or Matisse Thybulle, but he’s much quicker, with his hands and laterally, and I think he’ll be able to stay in front of Young and limit his movement.

That should lead to some turnover opportunities for Holiday, especially in what could be a sloppy Game 1 with both teams exhausted. I expect plenty of tired mistakes in this one as these sluggish teams feel each other out, and Holiday’s defensive instincts set him up to get some easy steals.

Holiday recorded multiple steals in 32 of his 59 regular season games, hitting this over 54% of the time, and averaged 2.5 SPG against the Miami Heat. He was staying pretty quiet against the Brooklyn Nets, going over 1.5 steals just once in seven games. The Hawks are not the Nets, and I like Holiday to get back to his terrific defensive ways and force some steals.

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Our Props Tool also recommends Holiday over 1.5 steals plus blocks at -200 odds if you prefer a little extra cushion. Holiday does block some shots, and he went over the 1.5 combo line 39 times during the regular season. That means he hit that line 66% of the time, which is right at the implied odds.

However, Holiday has yet to record a block in 11 playoff games this year and doesn’t quite block enough shots for me to give up all that extra juice. I’m playing his stifling defense against a tired Young and a banged-up Bogdanovic.

I prefer just the steals at nearly half the juice. I’ll play that one to -130 or consider pivoting to the combo prop if needed.

If you’re looking for an even more aggressive play, I’m also consider Antetokounmpo’s steals plus blocks over for similar reasons. He’s gone over 2.5 stocks in 29 of 61 regular season games, nearly half of them, and he’s at +145 juice as of writing if you really want to load up on the sloppy game angle.

Kevin Huerter — Over 2.5 Assists (-110)

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

If Young struggles some against Holiday and Bogdanovic has issues staying on the court with the injury, then Atlanta will need to find guard production elsewhere. And lately, elsewhere’s name is Kevin Huerter.

He had a big series against Philadelphia, averaging 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 33.5 minutes per game. Those minutes and that production were even higher over the final four games when Huerter was inserted into the starting lineup. And with Bogdanovic ailing, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him start and play big minutes here.

Huerter had multiple assists in all but two of the Sixers games, plus he went over 2.5 assists in three of the seven and both of the last two contests. He did even more as a passer in the regular season, when he went over this line in 46 of 69 games to hit 67% of the time.

For better or worse, I think Huerter continues to play a big role for Atlanta. He should have the ball in his hands a lot, with Holiday focusing on Young and Bogdanovic just not giving much right now. We’re projecting Huerter at 3.3 assists, so I’ll play this over to -130 odds.

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