Best NBA player prop bets for Bucks vs. Nets: Middleton does it all
The two greatest words for an NBA fan are: “Game Seven”. The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks have taken us all for a ride on an emotional roller coaster in this series. Comebacks, injuries, star-studded performances – we’ve truly seen it all. And from a betting perspective, as the only game on tap tonight, lines are sure to be sharp as ever. Before we dive in to props, make sure you check out how our analysts are picking sides and totals for tonight’s game.
Most player prop lines involving star players in a Game 7 are inflated. The expectation is for teams to lean on the guys who got them to this point. That being said, there is one prop involving Milwaukee’s two-time All Star wing where I’m seeing some value on the over.
Khris Middleton over 11.5 rebounds + assists (-113)
Lines available at time of publishing. If this combination is unavailable to you, my preferred pivot would be over 6.5 rebounds.
It goes without saying that in a Game 7 situation, team look to rely on their best players. After being heavily criticized in the last two postseasons, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer has finally seen the light. Middleton (as well as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday) have all seen 40-plus minutes in the last four games. Middleton specifically is averaging 43 minutes per game in that span. With the season on the line tonight, it’s highly unlikely that changes.
Looking at the raw numbers, Middleton has eclipsed this line in seven of the ten postseason games thus far. In fact, including the regular season, Middleton nabbed 12+ R+A in 18 of the 27 games that he’s played just 36 minutes this season (67 percent). On a per-40-minute basis, the sixth year pro averages 13 R+A (regular and postseason combined).
Besides boosting his minutes, the Bucks tightened rotation puts more reliance on Middleton to crash the boards. Bobby Portis, a plus rebounder, has not seen the floor in the last two games. Middleton’s rebounding production increases 10 percent with Portis off the floor (typically with Brook Lopez occupying the center spot). And with PJ Tucker solely focused on guarding Kevin Durant, Middleton and Giannis have been tasked with cleaning the glass. The Texas A&M product is averaging close to 12 rebounding chances per game, which is second on the team.
Middleton’s playoff assists are down versus his regular-season production, however the implied line of 4.5 is still too low for such a high-usage player. The versatile wing’s assist conversion rate is the best of the Bucks’ big three, as his dimes result in shots made closer to the basket. Since the Bucks offense has enjoyed a resurgence in the last three games, Middleton has reached five assists in each.
It’s Game 7, folks. Yes, we might see slower pace that an elimination game typically yields. However, I see too much value on this line, with a player that the Bucks are going to rely on heavily for all sorts of production. I have Middleton’s R+A projected at 13.7 tonight.