NBA Parlay Pick: Bucks vs. Hawks (Game 5, July 1st 2021)

The Phoenix Suns were able to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals on Wednesday night, handily defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 130-103. On Thursday, while neither the Atlanta Hawks nor Milwaukee Bucks can advance to the NBA Finals with a victory, it is a pivotal Game 5 in a series tied 2-2. With Giannis Antetokounmpo listed as doubtful with a knee ailment, the betting landscape for each player on the Bucks has drastically changed. For the Hawks, they could get Trae Young back on the floor in Game 5 after he missed Game 4 with a foot injury.

Even amid the injury issues in the series, I’ll be doing my best to pick apart which bets would make sense to insert into a parlay. Piecing together prop bets for a parlay has become a popular trend in sports betting, especially for the NBA. All of my picks will be made on FanDuel Sportsbook, where you can create a Same Game Parlay with relative ease. Also, if there is injury news that gets released early in the day, you could get some props at better odds, or players could have their props altered, so keep an eye out for news.

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Brook Lopez Over 13.5 points (-110)

If Antetokounmpo is truly doubtful to play on Thursday, people will be rushing to play the over on Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday’s point totals. However, Middleton’s point total is set at 27.5, and Holiday has his sitting at 23.5. While everyone scrambles to guess who scores the most between the two, I’ll take the value in grabbing Brook Lopez’s point total as the third scorer without Antetokounmpo on the floor. Some would reason that Lopez has only scored more than 13.5 points in three of his last 10 games and six out of his 15 appearances in these playoffs.

That being said, during the regular season, Lopez averaged 19.55 points per 36 minutes when Antetokounmpo. Even though it’s hard to expect 36+ minutes from Lopez on Thursday, I expect him to receive slightly over 30 minutes in a crucial game. It’s also worth noting that Lopez had 38 games during the regular season and in these playoffs in which he attempted 10 or more shots. In those games, he hit 14+ points in 25 of them for a 65.8 percent hit rate. Given the injury to Antetokounmpo, the Bucks could lean on Lopez more on the offensive end, allowing him to score over 13.5 points.

Khris Middleton Over 6.5 assists (-128)

The most popular players to bet on from the Bucks on Thursday will be Middleton and Holiday. People understand that both of them will be handling the ball the most sans Antetokounmpo, which has caused sportsbooks to react accordingly. Sometimes it can be hard to guess which one of the two will be facilitating the most. But seeing that Holiday’s assist mark is 9.5, I’ll side with Middleton’s assist number at over 6.5. Throughout the course of the regular season, when both Antetokounmpo and Donte DiVincenzo were both out, Middleton saw the highest usage at 30.8 percent.

The veteran forward turned his 30.8 percent usage into 7.22 assists per 36 minutes without Antetokounmpo and DiVincenzo in the regular season. While he reached over 6.5 assists on average per 36 minutes under the circumstances, I anticipate Middleton playing upwards of 40 minutes on Thursday. Middleton has only reached 7+ assists in three out of his last 10 outings. Despite that being the case, he and Holiday will now be tasked with more touches on offense, which gives Middleton a clear chance to dish out over 6.5 assists.

Bogdan Bogdanovic Over 2.5 threes made (-162)

It was unfortunate for the Hawks when Bogdan Bogdanovic suffered a knee injury in Atlanta’s Eastern Conference Semi-Finals series versus the Philadelphia 76ers. The Serbian shooting guard was finding his groove in the second half of the season, and he was playing relatively well in the playoffs before experiencing knee soreness. Bogdanovic would play through the knee soreness, only to look nowhere close to the player he was during the regular season. In the first three games of the series against the Bucks, Bogdanovic made just seven of his 28 field-goal attempts, including four of his 16 three-point shots.

But in Game 4, with no Young in the lineup and the Bucks being heavily favored, Bogdanovic showed signs of finding his shot again. The 28-year-old guard scored 20 points on seven of 19 shooting, making six of his 14 three-point attempts. Due to his knee injury, Bogdanovic has knocked down more than 2.5 threes just twice in the past 10 games. Before that, though, Bogdanovic nailed 3+ three-pointers in five of his last 10, and to end the regular season, Bogdanovic made 3+ threes in his last 11 showings (and in 15 of his last 16 games). If Bogdanovic can get the green light to shoot as he did in Game 4, he should easily clear over 2.5 threes on Thursday.

Final parlay odds: +420

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