Both Milwaukee and Golden State look to take 3-1 series leads in their respective playoff series vs. Boston and Memphis, respectively, on Monday night. Here are two player prop picks on each matchup with odds from BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review), one of BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Monday, May 9, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Fiserv Forum
Have to say that I didn’t expect the Bucks to win this series without injured All-Star Khris Middleton and maybe they won’t, but they lead 2-1. We all know how spectacular Giannis Antetokounmpo is, and he had 42 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists in the 103-101 victory in Game 3 on Saturday.
The guy who has really stepped up in Middleton’s absence has been point guard Jrue Holiday. In the five-game first-round win over Chicago, he averaged 16.4 ppg. In this series, he’s averaging 23.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. He scored with 11.2 seconds left for a 103-100 lead in Game 3.
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Holiday remains a stellar defender as guys he has guarded are hitting just 30.6 percent, the lowest by any defender in these playoffs.
Meanwhile, I wonder if having to guard Giannis is starting to wear down Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum, who also injured his wrist on a dunk in Game 3: "It's something I've been dealing with for probably like two months now. It wasn't anything abnormal, when I fall on it, it bothers me, but nothing that I haven't been dealing with the last couple of months."
NBA Pick: Holiday Over 33.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-107) at BetOnline
Tatum really struggled in hitting 4-for-19 from the field for 10 points. He finished 0-for-10 when Wesley Matthews was the primary defender on him. Only three of Tatum’s shots came within five feet of the basket. Coach Ime Udoka said Tatum was overthinking things and getting too deep into the Bucks’ defense:
“He was passing up some open looks, overthinking at times. Just gotta try to simplify it, not get too complicated. They’re gonna sit back in the lane, you’ll have your pull-ups. And like I said after the first timeout, one or two dribbles too many. Kind of getting into the teeth of your defense.
We gotta set screens and free these guys up and they can walk into their wide-open shots. Over penetrated a little bit, got into the crowd a little bit, and started overthinking a little bit.”
While I’m sure Tatum won’t be held to 10 points again, that 28.5-point number is massively high.
NBA Pick: Tatum Under 28.5 Points (-120 ) at BetOnline
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors
Monday, May 9, 2022 – 10:00 PM EDT at Chase Center
The big news for this matchup is that Memphis star Ja Morant is not expected to play after suffering a knee injury in the fourth quarter of Game 3 on Saturday. Jordan Poole grabbed that knee but said he is "not even that type of player" to try to intentionally hurt someone.
He and Andrew Wiggins trapped Morant near half-court before Wiggins was called for a foul with 6:55 left. Poole will not be disciplined by the league.
"It was a basketball play when we doubled him," Poole said. "And I hit the ball, and I was going for the ball. I mean, obviously, you don't want to see anybody get hurt. I'm not even that type of player. I respect everybody."
Coach Taylor Jenkins said Sunday that “there is probably a really good chance (Morant) doesn't play.” Thus, I give the Grizzlies almost no chance on Monday even though they were 20-5 without Morant during the regular season. His expected absence has jumped the NBA odds to Dubs -10.
NBA Pick: Thompson Under 21.5 Points (-112) at BetOnline
Because there isn’t 100 percent certainty on Morant yet, the books are holding off on props for other Grizzlies players. I believe that they will list Tyus Jones at over/under 5.5 assists. He’s one of the best backup point guards in the NBA, will start in Morant’s place, and actually has led the league four straight seasons in assist-to-turnover ratio – the only other player to lead that category in four seasons is Chris Paul.
Jones’ 7.03 ratio this year was the best in league history. He’s not really a scorer so I think he exceeds 5.5 assists fairly easily because he’s going to play mega-minutes.
Golden State was unconscious from the field in the 142-112 victory in Game 3, shooting 63.1 percent and with a true shooting percentage of 76.1 percent, both second-best in a playoff game in league history. Klay Thompson had been shooting 28.9 percent from the floor in the first two games but was 8-for-13 on Saturday.
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“When we're getting good shots, the chances of Klay getting hot are much greater," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. "And when he gets hot our team takes on a different look. ... So it's all connected."
I think Thompson’s point total is too high … plus, don’t rule out the fact this could be a blowout again and Thompson doesn’t play heavy minutes.
NBA Pick: Jones Over 5.5 Assists (TBA) at BetOnline
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