Tuesday NBA Playoffs Odds, Predictions, Best Bets: Our Top 2 Picks for Game 4 of Hawks vs. Bucks (June 29)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Milwaukee Bucks standout Khris Middelton.
- The Atlanta Hawks host the Milwaukee Bucks in a Game 4 showdown Tuesday in the Eastern Conference Finals.
- NBA analysts Raheem Palmer and Brandon Anderson deliver their best bets on the card, with include a first-half side and team total.
- Check out their favorite plays below.
Trae Young is battling an ankle injury heading into the matchup, with the Hawks trailing 2-1 in the series against the Bucks. Milwaukee is currently sitting as a 7.5-point favorite. A win would give the franchise a commanding lead in the best-of-7 series.
NBA analysts Raheem Palmer and Brandon Anderson have unveiled their best bets for this contest, with one targeting a first-half spread and the other focusing on a team total. Check out their favorite plays below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks
Raheem Palmer: The Milwaukee Bucks were tied at halftime in a game in which they shot just 3 of 14 (21.4%) from behind the arc, while the Atlanta Hawks were scorching hot, going 10 of 22 (45.5%) from the field.
While the Bucks were eventually able to win and cover with Khris Middleton’s epic fourth quarter, where he outscored the Hawks by a 20-17 margin on 8-of-13 shooting, they will surely want to get off to a faster start. They should be able to do that, provided both teams hit their expectation from deep.
With Trae Young nursing an ankle injury he suffered in Game 3 after stepping on a referee’s foot, the Hawks will be coming into a pivotal Game 4 with their star banged up. The Bucks have capitalized on the injuries of James Harden and Kyrie Irving, so I expect them to do the same here.
I’ll back the Bucks in the first half to come out strong.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks
Brandon Anderson: So, does this mean I trust the Bucks to push the Hawks to the brink?
Well, that’s a tough question. Does anyone really trust Milwaukee at this point? The franchise pushes the meaning of trust to the brink, with it never being a particularly comfortable ride.
This is more of a bet against Atlanta, where it just feels like the pixie dust might be starting to dry up a little bit. Already, the Bogdan Bogdanovic injury has been really difficult on the team.
Bogdanovic, who was Atlanta’s best player over the final stretch of the regular season, was really good early in the playoffs, but it’s clear at this point he’s just not the same player. His shots aren’t falling and he’s a big miss for this team.
Now, Atlanta’s actual best player is hurt. It would be a surprise if Trae Young doesn’t grit through the pain and play, but it would also be a surprise if he totally looked himself.
Young is a jitterbug, relying on his quickness and change of direction to get to spots and create space for his shots. He’s also dealing with perhaps the best guard defender in the league in Jrue Holiday.
If Young is even 10 or 20% less effective with the injury, Atlanta is at a serious deficit. This is where the Bogdanovic injury starts to compound. Bogdanovic, Young and Kevin Huerter are the offense’s engine, with John Collins and Clint Capela much more finishers than starters.
The Hawks have been grinding out wins this postseason, with just enough offense. They averaged just 104.0 PPG against the New York Knicks; 107.9 PPG against the Philadelphia 76ers; and, now 103.0 PPG against the Bucks thus far. That’s a 105.6 average for the playoffs — right at this number — but it’s buoyed by a 128-point outing in Game 1 against the Sixers and would be 104.0 otherwise.
Atlanta has scored under 105.5 in nine of 15 playoff games, hitting this under 60% of the time. I’m not sure I totally trust Milwaukee to win or cover, in part because I don’t trust its offense to score consistently. However, I do trust the Bucks’ defense against this maimed opponent.
I’ll play the Atlanta team under and leave Milwaukee out of the equation. If the Hawks find a way to win, it’ll probably have to be an ugly one with Young and Bogdanovic struggling to find health. I’ll play to 104.5 as my top pick.