Milwaukee Bucks (52–28 36-44 ATS) at Brooklyn Nets (54-27 45-36 ATS)
The Nets went from being up 2-0 in this series and rolling to losing their last two games and for a huge Game 5 they may be without two of their superstars.
James Harden has not played since the beginning of the series with a hamstring injury and is questionable for this game. In the 107-96 Game 4 loss the Nets lost Kyrie Irving to an ankle injury and while the x-rays were negative his status for Game 5 is unknown.
The odds reflect the injury woes for Brooklyn, as they are at home in Game 5 and a 2.5-point underdog with the total sitting at 220.5.
While the Bucks are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 games facing the Nets in Brooklyn they failed to cover in the first two games of this series.
The home team has won and covered in every game in this series.
It Helps When the Shots Fall
In the Game 4 win the Bucks did not shoot lights out from 3-pt land (34%) but it was much better than the first three games when they only shot 24.7% from deep.
The Bucks did not shoot the ball much better than the Nets in Game 4 (44.3% to 43.4%) but they shot the deep ball better and played good D on Kevin Durant.
Giannis Antetokounmpo went for 34 points and 12 boards in the last game and in the two wins in this series has totaled 77 points and 26 rebounds. Three other starters scored at least 13 points in Game 4 and the team outscored Brooklyn 20-6 on fast break points.
The Bucks have covered the spread in their last two games and are 4-1 ATS in their last five games after a win.
Milwaukee cannot take their foot off the pedal in this game even though they may not have to face either Harden or Irving.
KD has to Step Up
The Nets struggled after Irving went down in Game 4 and Kevin Durant has to step up, which he did not do in the last game and while he had 28 points he was only 9/25 from the floor. In the two losses in Milwaukee KD was only a combined 20/53. Milwaukee’s P.J. Tucker has been very physical with Durant in the last two games and KD has to have a big game in Game 5.
Irving was the only other player in Game 4 for the Nets that scored in double figures with 11 points.
Joe Harris and Bruce Brown are the fourth and fifth leading scorers for the Nets combining for over 20 ppg on the season. In the Game 4 loss they only combined for 15 points on 6/13 shooting and missed five of their seven 3-pointers. If Irving and Harden cannot go these guys have to give Brooklyn scoring and their D has to get it done.
The Nets have failed to cover the spread in their last four games when they were the underdog and I look for that trend to continue. With how Irving left the floor in Game 4 I do not see him going in this game and I do not think Harden will be ready either.
Because of them not playing the Nets do not have enough offense to keep up with a Milwaukee team that led the league this season in ppg. In Game 5 the Bucks will take advantage of the missing Brooklyn stars and win and cover taking a 3-2 lead in this series.
PICK: Bucks -2.5