All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
What you need to know for Saturday’s playoff games
Putting The A In Jaylen: Boston’s offense is paced by their dynamic duo and their ability to put the ball in the bucket. But … that’s not exactly where the value lies in tonight’s pivotal Game 3. It’s no secret that the Bucks employ a “beat us from deep if you can” defensive game plan and that hasn’t changed through two games in this series. During the regular season, Jaylen Brown averaged one assist every 7.6 minutes in games where the Celtics chuck up at least 45 threes, up from one every 10.3 minutes in which they don’t. Boston is averaging 46.5 triples per game thus far in this series, and if that continues, Brown should cruise past his assist total in his playoff role that has him playing over 40 minutes a night.
Counting Curry: In Game 1, Stephen Curry took 60% of his shots from distance and pulled down three rebounds. In Game 2, 44% of his shots came from 3, and he recorded nine boards. What changed? Gary Payton II played 23 minutes in Game 1 and was injured just three minutes into Game 2. Little Glove pulled down seven rebounds in Game 1 and didn’t attempt a 3: In short, he handled much of inside the arc lifting for this backcourt. In each of his past three postseason appearances, Curry has averaged more rebounds during the playoffs than he did during the regular season, and he trended that direction in the snapshot we got Tuesday night with Payton out. He averaged 5.2 rebounds this regular season, so penciling him in for at least six tonight is a strong numbers play in the props market.
Brook’s Blocks: The Milwaukee Bucks have relied on Brook Lopez to protect the paint this postseason. With three blocks in each of the team’s two games against Boston, Lopez is allowing the Celtics to shoot just 45% within six feet of the basket on nearly six shots defended in the paint per game. With nearly even odds on a block prop of 1.5 on DraftKings for today’s tilt with Boston, Lopez is in a good position to swat multiple shots in a pivotal Game 3.
— Jim McCormick & Kyle Soppe
Breaking down today’s games
Line: Bucks (-1.5)
Money line: Celtics (+105), Bucks (-125)
Total: 213 points
BPI Projected Total: 220.2
BPI Win%: Celtics 53.1%
Ruled Out: Khris Middleton (knee)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play
Notable: Extended time between games is nice, until it’s not. Since the beginning of last season, the Bucks are just 4-7 ATS when having more than two days between games (1-5 ATS in their past six such games at home).
Best bet: Brook Lopez over 5.5 rebounds. During the series, Lopez has been hit or miss. Despite that, he averages 8.0 RPG and is making an impact on the glass. The trend should continue as the series continues in Milwaukee. In Game 3, it will be interesting to see how Lopez contributes offensively. — Eric Moody
Best bet: Robert Williams III over 14.5 points+rebounds. So far in this series, Williams has averaged 8.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 23.5 MPG as he continues to return to form following a torn meniscus. Williams averaged 10 PPG and 9.6 RPG during the regular season. He should continue to see more playing time. — Moody
Best bet: Jayson Tatum over 42.5 points+assists+rebounds. With Jaylen Brown going off in Game 2, Tatum got off to a slow start, but the pendulum could swing back to Tatum with Brown dealing with a right hamstring injury ahead of Game 3. However, he has still averaged 25 PPG, 7.0 APG and 4.5 RPG in this series. — Moody
Best bet: Lopez over over 5.5 rebounds. I’ve been on “Lopez over” rebounds for the last few games, and he’s gone over each time. But, the line had been set at 4.5…he’s gone over 4.5 boards in six of the seven playoffs games. Now, the line is up to 5.5 boards…but he’s still been over the 5.5 line in both games against the Celtics thus far. The Celtics have a big enough frontline that Lopez should get plenty of minutes, barring the foul trouble he had last game. And, he gets to rebound against a frontline that’s spending most of their energy focused on stopping Giannis. He’s averaged 8.0 RPG in the series. — André Snellings
Line: Warriors (-7)
Money line: Grizzlies (+240), Warriors (-300)
Total: 225.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 224.6
BPI Win%: Warriors 55.4%
Notable: Think the points pile up tonight in Golden State? The Warriors have covered each of their past four home games that went over the total.
Best bet: Ja Morant over 44.5 points+assists+rebounds. The unfortunate injury suffered by Gary Payton II after he was fouled hard by Dillon Brooks benefits Morant. Immediately following his injury, Morant’s performance changed. He finished with a playoff career high 47 points, eight assists and eight rebounds. The Warriors will have a hard time slowing him down. — Moody
Best bet: Klay Thompson over 21.5 points. Thompson is not shooting the basketball well at the moment. With a 29% field goal percentage, he averages 13.5 PPG. The Warriors need more from him to defeat the Grizzlies and take pressure off Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole. Thompson should perform well at home. During his career, he has averaged 19.4 PPG at home in the playoffs. — Moody
Best bet: Stephen Curry over 33.5 points+assists. Curry has averaged 25.5 PPG and 6.0 APG while shooting 42.2% from the field so far against the Grizzlies. The Warriors haven’t shot particularly well from beyond the arc thus far in the series. Hopefully, that changes tonight. Over the last ten seasons, the Warriors have made 37.3% of their triples at home in the playoffs. — Moody
Best bet: Desmond Bane over 17.5 points. This pick relies on the extra rest between Games 2 and 3 having been a benefit to Bane’s health. Bane entered the series having averaged 27.0 PPG (51.4 FG%, 52.3 3P%) in his previous four outings, but he struggled in the first two games to the tune of 7.0 PPG (29.4 FG%, 22.2 3P%). It was reported after Game 1 that Bane was battling a sore back, and to me it seems clear that’s what’s caused his production dropoff. But, with the extra days of rest, I’m thinking Bane has had some time perhaps get a bit healthier. Plus, with Dillon Brooks suspended, the Grizzlies will need Bane’s perimeter production. — Snellings
Best bet: Klay Thompson over 3.5 3-pointers. As Moody alluded to, Thompson has struggled with his shot thus far in the series. I believe that he, like Bane, will benefit from the extra time off as he seemed a bit worn down. With the game also returning to the Warriors’ home court, the conditions seem ripe for Thompson to get back to his normal shooting stroke. — Snellings
Best bet: Ja Morant under 44.5 points+assists+rebounds. It’s hard to fade a superstar like Morant, especially after he just posted a career high 47 points in the Grizzlies’ Game 2 win over the Warriors. Morant has been sensational and deserves all the credit, but with that said all good things must come to an end. And by “end” I mean slight decline in production. Morant hit under this number in three regular season matchups, including two games on the road. He’s been so elite that I am not sure he will be able to sustain this production. – Erin Kate Dolan
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