NBA Playoffs Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Bucks vs. Nets Game 5 (Tuesday, June 15)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images. Pictured: Brooklyn Nets teammates Kevin Durant and Joe Harris.
- The Bucks and Nets take center stage and Game 5 is the focus of our Best Bets Tuesday.
- In a series that has swung wildly for both teams, our NBA crew is looking at two creative ways tonight's action.
- Our NBA analysts Brandon Anderson and Kenny Ducey are eyeing one prop bet and an alternate line. Read below for their betting picks.
Editor’s Note: James Harden has been cleared to play Game 5. For real-time updates to these lineups, check out our Action Labs NBA lineups page.
We have just one game on the NBA playoff schedule Tuesday, but it’s a huge showdown between the ailing Brooklyn Nets and resurgent Milwaukee Bucks.
The series is tied at 2-2, but the Nets will be without All-Star guards James Harden and Kyrie Irving, who are both dealing with injuries. The loss of the talented backcourt tandem has Brooklyn, once the favorite to win this series, currently sitting as 4-point home underdog.
Basketball analysts Brandon Anderson and Kenny Ducey have unveiled their best bets for this game, which include an alternate-spread pick and player prop. Check out their top selections for this meeting at Barclays Center.
NBA Odds & Picks
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Brandon Anderson: We hyped up this series as the early NBA Finals — and perhaps it might have been — but we only got one possession of healthy championship basketball. James Harden went down after re-injuring his hamstring in the opening minute of the series, and now Kyrie Irving is sidelined with a nasty ankle sprain as well.
It remains to be seen whether we’ll see either of them again this series or postseason, but we know for sure they’re out for Tuesday’s Game 5 showdown. And without those two, the Nets are at a serious talent disadvantage. Yes, Kevin Durant is still awesome. We know this.
However, Durant is currently missing $86 million of guard talent next to him with Harden, Irving and hey-bet-you-forgot-about-me Spencer Dinwiddie sidelined. Technically, that’s $96 million since DeAndre Jordan isn’t playing either. So, close to $100 million of talent watching Durant and $26 million worth of teammates try to save Brooklyn’s season. Yikes.
Joe Harris is good, but hasn’t been decent the past two games and he makes up more than half of that remaining salary. Needless to say, Harris doesn’t look look nearly as good without the gravity of his superstar teammates leaving him wide-open shots.
Beyond that, the next-best Nets are a pair of former Detroit players in Bruce Brown and Blake Griffin, plus a half-the-teams-in-the-league castoff in Jeff Green.
Didn’t we just see what happens when a very good NBA team plays another with one superstar MVP talent and a bunch of leftover parts? The Suns swept the Nuggets and it didn’t really matter how good Nikola Jokić was, because his teammates weren’t good enough.
And that’s how I see these Nets right now. Brooklyn isn’t good enough to hang with a terrific Milwaukee team. Not with one superstar and a bunch of spare parts.
Remember, if this was the early NBA Finals, it’s because these were the two best teams left. The Nets aren’t in that conversation anymore, but the Bucks are still the Bucks and finally looked the part in Game 4.
I think Milwaukee wins this one going away, with starters out early as the speculation begins on whether Irving or Harden suit up for Game 6. I’m taking the alternate Bucks line at BetMGM and getting my money’s worth at +185 odds for an 8.5-point spread.
We’ve been watching these Bucks beat up on inferior competition for three years now, and that’s what this version of Brooklyn is right now. Trust the talent on the court.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Kenny Ducey: The Nets are going to need someone else to score the basketball without Kyrie Irving and James Harden, and I don’t think Steve Nash will trust anyone more than Joe Harris.
It might be hard to stomach a Harris player prop after he went 3 for 13 from 3-point land in Milwaukee, but just think back to those first two games in Brooklyn where he shot 8 for 16 from deep and totaled 32 points.
With Irving and Harden off the floor this year, Harris is seeing a 3.2% bump in usage, just second to Kevin Durant (+3.5%) among the active Nets. What’s more, Harris has seen nearly 38 minutes per game over the last two contests, solidifying he should be part of this team’s core down two superstars.
Harris led the league in 3-point percentage, averaging 14.1 points this season, so 15 points should definitely be attainable in Game 5 as long as he sees minutes and usage. There’s also the fact he shot 49.8% from three at home this year, versus 45.8% on the road.
Barring a heroic return by Harden, he should far exceed this prop wager.