Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 4:10 PM EST.
BROOKLYN +100 over Milwaukee
7:35 PM EST. Reaction from one Bucks’ observer following their Game 1 defeat to a James Harden-less Nets’ team: “If Khris Middleton misses 17 shots and the Bucks miss 26 threes, they lose that game to any team left in the playoffs. They dominated the boards. They dominated the paint. They got to the line… we’ll be okay.” He forgot to mention that in getting to the line, they bricked their free throws, too (11-for-19, 57.9%).
While Giannis probably wanted to choke Middleton for his 6-for-23 John Starks-like showtime ineptness in Game 1 and then kick Bryn Forbes in the pants while he was at it, for Forbes’ contribution towards the team’s 6-for-30 on threes, Middleton was a 41.4% three-point shooter in the regular season, Forbes 45.2%. Yeah, we get the strategy…..Milwaukee couldn’t hit a shot in Game 1 and chances are they’ll be a whole lot better tonight. You also also have the absence of James Harden influencing the price.
We’re very aware of the zig-zag phenomenon of playing a team in one game, losing and then switching gears to the team that just beat you. We wagered on Milwaukee in Game 1 and were all set to take the Bucks right back in Game 2 but the situation has changed greatly. First, Harden is out so the injury chasers are out too. Second, the market is pounding the Bucks based on all the aforementioned data above, and that, too, is a big red flag to us. We would’ve come right back on Milwaukee if Harden was playing because the blowout win in Game 1 would’ve influenced the market so much that the price today would have been higher but it’s not. It’s much lower, which forces our hand to play the value and it’s not on the Bucks.
Back to the Bucks for a second. Their excuse for the Game 1 loss was poor shooting. That’s valid. Their excuse for flaming out in last year’s playoffs against the Heat was that Jimmy Butler was tough as show leather and his imprint was all over the series. That's valid too. Their excuse for losing the year before to the Raptors was…...does it even matter what it was? The point is that the Bucks' excuses for big game losses is becoming tiring. Giannis Antetokounmpo is great when the game means jack or when his team is up 20. The Milwaukee Bucks have proven absolutely nothing in big games for three years and counting so why should we trust them tonight against a team that figures to bring their best with Harden absent?
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BROOKLYN +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)