Handicapping the NBA: Thursday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Nick Whalen

Player parlay: Khris Middleton to score at least 23 points AND Bucks beat BKN (+170) – DraftKings (2:28 PM CT)

Full disclosure: I have no idea what's going to happen at Fiserv Forum tonight, but if the Bucks are going to steal a game in this series, it has to be tonight. Middleton has been awful through the first two games, but he finally settled into something of a rhythm in the second half of Game 2. If Milwaukee wins the game, that means there's a very good chance Middleton plays well. His player prop is set at 22.5 points (-113), so I'm looking to manufacture a bit more value under the pretense that if Middleton gets hot, the Bucks can climb back into the series in front of a full-capacity crowd at home.

Joe Bartel

Giannis Antetokounmpo UNDER 32.5 points (-108)FanDuel (1:01 PM CT)

The Bucks fan in me doesn't have the heart to bet on them losing outright, but it's hard to watch what transpired Monday and erase that car wreck of a visual. Perhaps more crucially, the Nets seemingly figured out the Heats' bubble-esque strategy of packing the paint against the Greek Freak and the two-time MVP politely obliged, brutally settling for mid-range and three-point shots. If Mike Budenholzer and the rest of the coaching staff refuse to change up the offensive attack Thursday, he might as well pack up his bags before he leaves Fiserv Forum because this series will be officially over. Given everything we've seen from Budenholzer during the course of his lengthy playoff resume, a parlay of Giannis' under plus the Nets to win gives some truly (+261) great odds, but even if the Bucks do scratch out a win, I don't think it'll be because the 26-year-old completely dominates.

Ken Crites

Kevin Durant UNDER 32.5 points (-118) at MIL – FanDuel (11:17 AM CT)

Simply put, KD doesn't need to score 33 points for the Nets to win. There are two possible story lines for tonight, which I think both favor Durant scoring under 33.  First, the Nets continue to blowout the Bucks, as they did in Game 1 and 2, and KD can take it easy in the 4th quarter.  Or second, the Bucks finally show some fight and the Nets relax, knowing they'd be happy to get out of Wisconsin with one win before returning to Brooklyn. Losing Game 3 isn't a big deal.  Durant has scored 33+ points twice out of seven games in these playoffs.

Jacob Lebowitz

Nets to win at MIL (+143)DraftKings (12:31 PM CT)

After Game 2's dominant performance, Game 3 in Milwaukee should be a pretty easy win for the Nets. Even without James Harden, the Nets offense looks unstoppable, as Kevin Durant is playing some of the best postseason basketball in his career, and the Nets' role players are all stepping up, from Blake Griffin to Mike James. I don't think Game 3 or 4 will be any different, even with the games being in Milwaukee, simply because the Bucks can't keep up with the Nets' high-powered offense. The Bucks have had a difficult time keeping possession of the ball as well, averaging about seven more turnovers as a team each game this series. I expect the Nets to take Game 3 without a problem and complete the sweep on June 13th.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Joe Bartel
Joe Bartel is RotoWire's Operations Specialist and football contributor among many other things. When not at the office, he's probably playing a variety of Gen 4 console games or rooting on his beloved Green Bay Packers.
Ken
An early RotoWire contributor from the 90's, K-Train returns with the grace of Gheorghe Muresan and the wisdom of Joe Gibbs. Tweet @KenCrites or e-mail at ken@rotowire.com. Ken won the FSWA 2014 Humor Article Of The Year award. He's also the 2016 Champion of the prestigious RW NBA Keeper League and the 2019 Champion of the RW NFL Ottonue Keeper League. Ken still owns a RotoNews shirt.
Jacob Lebowitz
Jacob writes about fantasy sports and sports betting for RotoWire. He's always doing something sports-related whether that's playing NBA 2K, watching a football game or playing a game of pickup basketball.
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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