NBA Playoffs predictions - First basket best bet for Bucks vs. Hawks: Jrue drains it
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 Saturday as the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks continue their Eastern Conference Finals series. Milwaukee has a chance to close it out in Game 6.
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 Saturday, where we’re counting on Jrue Holiday. We also have a long-shot play at the end.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks
Bucks at Hawks – Jrue Holiday +500
Oddsmakers overreacted to the jump ball from Game 5. Atlanta won the tip in that one and started with ball, but it was a fluke. In the previous seven meetings between the Buck and Hawks this year, Milwaukee had gained the opening possession each time.
Brook Lopez still has an advantage on the tip over Clint Capela. Oddsmakers adjusted Milwaukee players’ odds down anyway. Holiday was +470 last game, then made the first basket and cashed, and now is +500. That doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Holiday has been seeing absurdly heavy volume lately, and often gets plays drawn up for him at the beginning of games. On Thursday night he was incredibly aggressive out of the gates, and took three of the Bucks’ first four shots.
Holiday took 20 shots from the field, and I think that’s his floor here. He also took the team’s first shot, and late made the team’s first basket, in Game 4. In Game 3 he again made the team’s first bucket, and in Game 2 he took the first shot.
That’s four games in a row where Holiday has either taken the Bucks’ first shot or made their first bucket. That’s pretty hard to argue with.
Longshot: Brook Lopez +1000
If you want a bet with a little juicier odds, I love Lopez. Getting 10/1 seems pretty appealing considering Lopez also often strikes early. In Game 3 of this series he took Milwaukee’s first shot, and in Game 1 he took the first shot and scored the first bucket. In Game 7 of their second round Nets series he made the first basket of the game again, and he took the team’s first shot in Game 6 of that one as well.
Make sure you read our same game parlay for Bucks vs. Hawks (+1231 odds!)