NBA Playoffs Best Bets of the Night: Wednesday, May 11

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

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This Wednesday night, we have two Game 5s.

The first will feature the Milwaukee Bucks who return to the TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics. Then, the Warriors take on the Morant-less Grizzlies in the hopes of closing out the series and securing a ticket to the Western Conference Finals.

Please Note: All odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 3:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics -5.5 (Series Tied 2-2)

Except for Jaylen Brown who got himself into foul trouble fairly early into the second half, the Boston Celtics cruised to victory in Milwaukee for Game 4 to tie up the series. Tonight, they are back in the TD Garden for Game 5. Game 4 is already being nicknamed “the Al Horford game” for the 30 points (11-14 FG) and eight rebounds he produced. He played well in Game 3 too, scoring 22 on 9-of-17 shooting from the field.

Jayson Tatum also scored 30 points in Game 4 but shot less efficiently than big Al. Still, as a team, the Celtics combined for 50% shooting from the field in Game 4. In contrast, the Bucks converted only 31.5% of their field goal attempts in Game 4. In addition, Giannis had a below-average night, going 14-of-32 (43.7 FG%) from the field. This season, the Greek Freak finished with a 55.3% field goal percentage. Giannis will bounce back and have a much better night shooting from the field, though it is noteworthy that the Celtics have kept him below 50% from the field in three of the four games in this series. The exception was a 16-of-30 shooting night in Game 3 which the Bucks won.

Ultimately, Boston’s defense has done an excellent job of containing Giannis. While the Celtics have a good chance of winning this game, the Bucks could lose by five and still cover the spread. I think this is the scenario we will see tonight in Boston. No matter what, Game 5 should be a true battle. It would be a big surprise if this game ends in a blowout, especially after the Bucks shot so poorly from the field in Game 4. They will play better and harder, which will keep the game close. It likely won’t be enough to contain Jayson Tatum and the Celtics.

The Pick: Milwaukee Bucks +5.5 (-112)

Game: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies +4 (GSW Leads 3-1)

Despite horrific three-point shooting for the first three quarters of Game 4 by Jordan Poole, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson, the Warriors turned it on and got their first lead of the contest late in the fourth quarter. Poole, Curry, and Thompson combined for 2-of-20 (10%) from downtown heading into the fourth quarter and Memphis seemed to have the win in the bag. Steph and the Warriors showed that when it matters most, they can all buckle down and be clutch.

Tragedy struck the Grizzlies as Ja Morant’s knee injury coming off of a poor challenge from Jordan Poole turned out to be a bone bruise. The Grizzlies announced today that Morant would be out for the remainder of the playoffs. Seeing as Memphis couldn’t pull off the win in Game 4 despite leading the whole game and Golden State's atrocious efficiency until the fourth quarter, Morant’s injury must feel like a punch in the gut. Though Memphis’ best chance to win a consolation win is tonight, I anticipate that the Warriors will shoot better to wrap this series up. In addition, the Warriors played well in Memphis for the first two games of the series. For the Warriors to come back to Memphis and put an end to this series seems like the most realistic outcome for tonight’s game.

Think about it this way: the Warriors played like garbage Monday night. They only needed one quarter (the fourth) to turn the game around. Especially without Ja Morant, the Grizzlies will not have enough to beat Golden State, who will likely shoot better from the field in Game 5 than in Game 4.

The Pick: Golden State Warriors -4 (-110)

NBA Player Props of the Night

Game: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies +4 (GSW Leads 3-1)

Prop: Al Horford Over 14.5 Points

Over the last two games, Al Horford has scored 30 points and 22 points respectively. Even more impressive is his 20-of-31 combined shooting from the field through Games 3 and 4 on the road. Back in Boston, he’ll feed off the crowd to hit at least two or three shots from downtown. Combine that with a few put-back layups and Al Horford will have already hit this prop. Expect closer to 20 points from Horford rather than 15. He’s on point in this series.

Prop: Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 31.5 Points

Though Giannis has shot less efficiently through the Eastern Conference Semifinals, expect him to bounce back and have a nice game tonight. Over the last two games, Giannis has scored 34 points and 42 points respectively. He shot poorly through the first two games of the series. In Game 4, he went 14-of-32 which is average at best (below average for him). What’s important here is to note that he took more than 30 field goal attempts from the field. Giannis needs to stop taking threes. He’s been 2-of-16 from downtown against the Boston Celtics this series. If he returns to driving the ball and hitting mid-range jump shots, his efficiency will increase significantly. Giannis will score around 35 points in a crucial Game 5. While the Bucks might lose, it won’t be his fault.

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