NBA Playoffs predictions - First basket best bet for Bucks vs. Hawks: Holiday party

Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks
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Andrew Ortenberg

NBA

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I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

The NBA playoffs are officially in the home stretch, and it’s been hard to complain about the action we’ve seen so far. There have been plenty of thrills, and we have another pivotal game on Sunday as the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks continue their Eastern Conference Finals series.

At Pickswise we have tons of great content for the playoffs, including same game parlays, mega parlays, and picks on the side and total for every single matchup. But right now we’re going to talk about one of my favorite props: first-basket bets. Let’s dive into my best such bet for Sunday, where we’re counting on Jrue Holiday. We also have a long-shot play at the end.

I just cashed my first basket bet for Saturday with Deandre Ayton at +650, let’s make it two days in a row!

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks

Bucks at Hawks – Jrue Holiday +600

I wanted to make a case for Trae Young here, but I can’t do it. The evidence indicates it’s overwhelmingly likely Milwaukee will win the tip. The Bucks and Hawks have played each other five times this year, and Milwaukee has started with ball each time. As such, I’ve got to look toward the Bucks.

Of Milwaukee’s starters, Holiday makes the most sense. He’s been seeing heavy volume lately, and often gets plays drawn up for him at the beginning of games. In Game 2 on Friday night, Holiday took the team’s first shot. On Wednesday night in Game 1, he took their second shot.

In Game 7 of their Nets series he took their first shot as well, so that’s two out of the past three. Holiday has been extremely efficient in this series, shooting over 60 percent from the floor through two games, and the Bucks will want to ride the hot hand.

He’s taken at least 21 shots in three of their past four games, and the only one he didn’t was when he played reduced minutes due to the Game 2 blowout. He’s got a great chance to get things started here.

We’ve also got a couple of regular playoff props for Game 3.

Longshot: Brook Lopez +1200

If you want a bet with a little juicier odds, I love Lopez. Getting better than 10/1 seems a bit ridiculous considering Lopez also often strikes early. In Game 1 of this series, he took the first shot and scored the first bucket. In Game 7 of the Nets series he made the first basket of the game again, and he took the team’s first shot in Game 6 as well. That’s three out of their past four games in which he’s either taken the first shot or scored the first bucket.

Make sure you read our same game parlay for Bucks vs. Hawks (+1231 odds!)

Pickswise is the home of free NBA picks and predictions. Make sure to also check out our NBA parlays and NBA prop bets tabs for more expert picks.

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