NBA Playoffs predictions - First basket best bet for Bucks vs. Hawks: Lopez locks it in
The NBA playoffs are officially in the home stretch, with the Western Conference Finals wrapping up on Wednesday. Things are winding down, 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 Thursday 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 Thursday, where we’re counting on Brook Lopez.
A couple games ago I cashed my first basket bet for Saturday with Deandre Ayton at +650, let’s make it two out of four!
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Bucks at Hawks – Brook Lopez +900
The Bucks are a virtual lock to take the first shot of this game. They’ve played the Hawks seven times now this year, and have gained the opening possession each time. Atlanta isn’t much of a threat to win the opening tip. Oddsmakers have adjusted the odds too low for both Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, putting them each below 5/1.
Neither has much value at those prices, although I’d lean Holiday at +470 if you want to go with one of those two chalkier plays. However, what I really like is Lopez at +900. He’s being slept on here, when he often starts off games firing.
In Game 1 of this series, he took the first shot and scored the first bucket. In Game 7 of their second round series against the Nets he made the first basket again, so that was back to back games he did it in. He also took Milwaukee’s first shot in Game 6 of that Brooklyn series.
That was all with Giannis Antetokounmpo in the lineup. With Antetokounmpo out, Lopez’s volume should only increase. Many might expect the Bucks to fold without Giannis, but playing in front of their home crowd I’m expecting them to come out hot and defiant.
Lopez nailing a three to start things off seems like one of the most likely outcomes. He also grabbed an offensive rebound off the first shot in Game 4, so a put-back is a definite possibility as well.
Make sure you read our same game parlay for Hawks vs. Bucks (+1233 odds!)