The NBA Playoffs Conference Finals continue on Friday and Saturday with a couple of crucial games. Catch our best spread and player prop betting tips for both the Suns at Clippers and Hawks at Bucks clashes right here!
Staples Center, 11am AEST
If the first two games of this series are an indication of what’s to come, then we are in for an absolute treat. It took the Suns until 0.7 seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter to secure the win in Game 2 in some of the craziest playoff circumstances you’ll see. That win backed up their solid six-point win in Game 1, which has the Suns leading the Clippers 2-0 in this intriguing Conference Finals series.
The Suns managed to win the first two games at home without their superstar point guard in Chris Paul who’s tipped to return for Game 3. In his absence, Cam Payne has been fantastic, as has DeAndre Ayton who was the game-winner in Game 2. For the Clippers, Paul George was fantastic in the first two games, but his two free-throw misses in Game 2 may well haunt both him and his organisation. On a positive not for the Clippers, Terrence Mann has been fantastic off the bench and should definitely get some more minutes in Game 3.
The Clippers have been down 2-0 in both of their series so far to get to this point, so they’ll certainly be confident they can get back in this series with a win at home in Game 3. However, without Kawhi Leonard and with the Suns getting back Chris Paul, it’s extremely hard to see them winning this game. As a result, we like the Suns in the head-to-head market.
For a player prop bet in Game 3 we’re looking at the budding superstar that is Devin Booker. He erupted in Game 1 with a 40-point triple-double before he was held relatively quiet in Game 2 with 20 points. However, Paul is back now and will be carrying the ball-handling duties, which will take the pressure off Booker and let him go back to his scoring mode.
Fiserv Forum, Saturday 10:30am AEST
The first game of the Eastern Conference Finals certainly didn’t go to plan for the Milwaukee Bucks who coughed up home court advantage after losing by three points against the Atlanta Hawks. The good news for the Bucks is that it’s a long series and they have another game at home just two days later where they can try and level it up at 1-1 before they head off to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4.
The Hawks were led by their superstar guard in Trae Young in Game 1 who had a historic night with 48 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists. Young was able to do whatever he wanted from start to finish on Thursday and was helped by John Collins (23 points, 15 rebounds) and Clint Capela (12 points, 19 rebounds) who also had big nights. For the Bucks, Jrue Holiday had a big night offensively with 33 points and 10 assists, as did Giannis Antetokounmpo who flirted with a tripled double (34/12/9), however, Khris Middleton had a stinker with 15 points on 6-23 shooting, which made all the difference in the end.
Looking ahead to Game 2 on Saturday and again it will be the Bucks who start as the very short favourites despite dropping Game 1. While we do expect the Bucks to bounce back and level the series, the 8.5-point line looks about right here, so we’ll be leaving that market alone. Instead, we like the total points to fall under the current line of 226.5, which looks around 7-10 points too high. There were 229 points scored in Game 1 but that required Young, Holiday and Antetokounmpo to all have huge nights, which will be very hard to replicate. On top of that, two of their four meetings in the regular season saw 215 or less points scored for the game. All things considered, it’s not a large bet game for us, but we will certainly be having something on the under’s here.
Khris Middleton was the villain for the Bucks in Game 1 with 15 points on 6-23 shooting, which is hugely uncharacteristic from the 2x All-Star. Middleton had averaged over 26 points per game in the four playoff games leading into Thursday’s mare, so perhaps it was just one of those nights for the sharpshooter. The Bucks need him to fire in Game 2 in order to level the series, so we expect him to bounce back with at least 25 points on Saturday.
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