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I’m going to give you the three props I’ve got my eye on for you to utilize in your three-, four- and five-point confidence slots on Wednesday’s two-game NBA slate.
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Russell Westbrook — UNDER 22.5 Points
It pains me to bet against Westbrook — especially in a Game 7 against his former team — but it’s simply what must be done today. I’m expecting a lower offensive output in this game in general, as the total was bet down from 221 to 218 by sharp money overnight. This means we should be looking at shading on the side of unders on some of the point props from this game. None feel more secure than Westbrook, who sounds like he’s going to have his minutes monitored for the third consecutive outing. Scary as it sounds, this is my favorite prop on the board for the day.
Giannis Antetokounmpo — OVER 5.5 Assists
Okay, maybe the Westbrook under is my second favorite prop on the board. Giannis and the Bucks struggled mightily in Game 1, as Jae Crowder did the best job containing him out of anyone all year. I’m assuming this No House Advantage 5.5-assist line is based around his regular season average of 5.7 assists per game, but a majority of those came in limited minutes due to the ridiculous amount of blowouts the Bucks were involved in. If we expect this game to stay close (which I do), Giannis should easily see 36-plus minutes and blow by this prop as his team’s primary offensive facilitator. This rings especially true if Eric Bledsoe is ruled out again, as Giannis’ assist rate on the year jumps from 0.18 per minute to 0.21 with him off the court.
Jimmy Butler — OVER 21.5 Points
I hate to buy into possible recency bias, but Butler is on a mission. In the Heat’s five playoff games thus far, Butler’s eclipsed 27 points in 3-of-5, with one of the other two stopped only by a freak shoulder injury that cut his night short. Most importantly, if we remove that Game 4 fluke injury, Butler’s gone to the free throw line 13.25 times per game, where he’s converting at a 90% clip in the bubble. With those kinds of easy points, combined with his ability to finish at the rim if his shot were not to be falling, and this is an easy prop to be bullish on.
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