It’s Game 1 of the East Conference Finals, and after releasing my official NBA Picks of this game, I’m back with some prop bets, and after going 1-2 yesterday, I’m trying to get back on track tonight.
Tristan Thompson O/U 10.5 rebounds
Tristan Thompson is finally reminding people of why he was once the 4th overall selection in the draft. His rebounding and paint defense has really taken a step up in the playoffs, and if he is getting minutes, the guy is going to produce. That should be true against the Hawks as well. Even though he has a tough cover in Paul Millsap, I doubt the Cavs play big for long. They will move Lebron James to the four, Thompson to the five, and then the Cavs young big man will be all over the place in the paint, instead of guarding Millsap around the perimeter.
Thompson gets three or four rebounds per game just on sheer will and more determination that anyone on the floor. That doesn’t even count the rebounds that fall in his lap. During the series against the Bulls, Thompson averaged over 11 rebounds per game, and he already owns a 13-rebound game against the Hawks this season in a game where he played over 40 minutes. If he gets 40 minutes again, 11 rebounds should be a solid play tonight.
My Pick: OVER 10.5 (-115)
Paul Millsap O/U 28.5 points, rebounds and assists
Speaking of Millsap, his NBA odds total for the big three stats is interesting tonight. At 28 ½ on first glance you think it looks too small, and I agree. Millsap is arguably the Hawks best player, and he can do pretty much everything. However his big games have been few and far between here in the playoffs, and the same can be said about his games against the Cavs this season.
In four regular season matchups, Millsap is averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and 3.5 assists against the Cavs. However one big game where Millsap shot 10/17 for 26 points really skews his averages against Cleveland. That was during the beginning of Lebron’s two-week vacation. In games against James this season, Millsap has been limited to only about 25-26 points, rebounds and assists against James.
My Pick: UNDER 28.5 (+105)
NBA picks tonight, this is the one I’m most confident in. Al Horford is the glue that holds the Hawks together. You wonder how the Hawks came out of nowhere this season? It’s because Horford came back healthy this year after missing most of last season. He may not be their best player, but he might be the Hawks most important player.
One reason for this is his facilitating. Jeff Teague is more of a scoring point guard, and whether it’s pick and roll or just running the offense through Horford altogether, the Hawks center has the ball in his hands a lot. During the playoffs he has had seven games with four or more assists, and he is averaging over four per game during the postseason. He even increased his assist numbers in the second round from the first. Horford set a career high in assist percentage (the amount of field goals he assisted while on the floor) this season at 18.6, and during the playoffs it’s gone up to 21.4%. Four assists should be no problem for Horford tonight at home.
My Pick: OVER 3.5 assists (-115)