The Celtics head back to Boston with a chance to take a series lead for the first time against the Bucks. The Warriors are in position to close out their series on the road with Ja Morant sidelined indefinitely.
Our NBA analysts see value in four bets on Wednesday night’s slate, including two player prop bets. Find their in-depth analysis and picks for tonight’s double header below.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Bucks vs. Celtics Spread & Moneyline||7 p.m. ET|
|Bucks vs. Celtics Player Prop||7 p.m. ET|
|Warriors vs. Grizzlies Player Prop||9:30 p.m. ET|
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
|Pick||Bucks +5.5 | Bucks ML +190|
|Tipoff||7 p.m. ET|
For the last few games, most of the best offense has come from points off turnovers or just run outs after a missed basket, simply one team beating an exhausted opponent down the court for an easy look before the defense can get set up.
The Bucks looked comfortably in control for most of Game 3, but the fourth quarter swung so far back in Boston’s favor that I fear recency bias has moved things too much in the Celtics’ direction.
Al Horford had the game of his life, and Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart both hit a number of tough shots late that they’ve been missing all series. Boston shot 60% on 2s, hit 38% of its 3s, made 90% of its free throws, got 43 fourth quarter points, and still barely got over the line in the last few minutes to save its season.
The Bucks didn’t even play all that well in those two home games. Milwaukee made only 33% of its 3s and was an ugly 45% on 2s, just 30-of-67 — and yet the Bucks led most of the way anyway. And they led because they are the bigger, more physical, rockier rocks in this rock fight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo looked like Thanos in Game 4. He was just bigger and stronger and better than everyone else on the court. He could get a bucket anytime he had to, and he absolutely dominated the glass. When it comes to a rock fight, don’t you just want the biggest, best rock?
That’s Giannis, and as physical as this series has become, his physicality has given Milwaukee a real advantage and a much higher floor than Boston. When the Celtics aren’t hitting shots, they’re drawing dead.
When the Bucks don’t hit shots, they still have Giannis to get them to the finish line. The way this series is playing out as some sort of gladiator sport, that might be enough. Milwaukee has owned the paint on both ends.
Home court hasn’t been a huge swing factor in this series. Teams aren’t hitting shots anyway, and the whistle has been totally unpredictable because there’s a foul both ways on pretty much every play. Boston has only played maybe four or five good offensive quarters all series.
Milwaukee’s floor is higher, and in the end, they have Giannis. He has been several tiers better than any other player in the series, and for most of Game 4, he had that LeBron-like feeling of inevitability, just like Thanos.
I like the Bucks in Game 5, and I’m not stopping there. I’m going to like Giannis at home in Game 6, and I’ll like him in Game 7 no matter where it’s at. I’ll like him and the Bucks against either ECF opponent — especially since Khris Middleton will come back too at some point — and it’s hard not to like all this size and physicality against the Suns or Warriors in the Finals.
I’m not waiting around. I’ve seen enough. I’m backing the Bucks to cover and win on the road, and I’ll play them beyond too. I’ll take the +400 to win the series in 6, and I’m backing Antetokounmpo at +850 to win Finals MVP.
We won’t get a better number this season on the Bucks — unless they lose this one in Boston, of course, but the way Giannis is playing, I might just have to double down at even longer odds if we get there.
For now, let’s start with a road Game 5 cover and win.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
|Pick||Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 31.5 Points|
Munaf Manji: In a Game 5 where the series is tied up, I expect the stars to shine. The Milwaukee Bucks having confirmed that Khris Middleton will be out for this game tonight, so I am expecting a big game from Giannis Antetokounmpo tonight. In the last two games of the series, Giannis has scored 34 or more points and is playing nearly 40 minutes per game against the Celtics.
Further, Giannis is averaging 28.5 shots per game in this series and those attempts have increased by 3 attempts over the last two games. Give credit to Boston’s frontcourt for making scoring difficult for Giannis around the basket but I believe this is going to be a game where Giannis has a big night for the Bucks.
Additionally, Giannis has is no stranger getting to the free throw line. He has gotten to the free throw line at least 10 times in three out of the four games so far in this series which only helps with scoring points.
Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
|Pick||Andrew Wiggins Over 5.5 Rebounds (-138) | Over 7.5 Rebounds (+200)|
|Tipoff||9:30 p.m. ET|
Brandon Anderson: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole get to have all the fun splashing 3s all over the court, and Draymond Green is the heart of this team and the fiery presence on both ends. But don’t forget that Wiggins was an All-Star himself this season, and he’s really stepped up and done all the little things this team has needed from him.
His size and athleticism have also popped in another important area this series: on the glass. Memphis was one of the league’s best rebounding teams in the regular season, and some feared that could be a big advantage in the series. Instead, Golden State has out-rebounded Memphis in all four games, and the Warriors have especially hurt the Grizz on the offensive glass.
Wiggins has been a huge part of that. He’s averaging 7.5 RPG for the series and has racked up 14 offensive rebounds already in these four games. He has three games with at least eight boards and one outlier with only three — the one where he played way fewer minutes and, frankly, when there weren’t any rebounds to grab because Golden State hit every shot.
This line hasn’t moved up like it should, so you have to love the over 5.5 rebounds. Wiggins should push eight or more again, and that’s why it’s worth playing a bit of the higher alternate line too at 2-to-1 value. You might even sprinkle the double-double. The points should be there, and he had a double-double last game. That’s priced at +1075 at Bet365 and is worth a dabble at that price.
Wiggins may not be flashy, but he is quietly getting the job done. Expect him to take care of business on the glass once again.