The Miami Heat are one win away from eliminating the one-seed Milwaukee Bucks, but they’ll need to do it on the road if they want to get it done tonight. We’ll preview the game before going over my best prop play for the action.
At every step in this series, it's felt like spectators have been waiting for the Bucks to turn it on and take over the series, but that has yet to come. Fans aren’t the only ones who have thought this way either, I mean, Milwaukee is down 3-1, and yet they are favored by (-12) in most sportsbooks. The return of Giannis for game four was supposed to be the turning point in the series, but instead, Jimmy Butler had other ideas.
Butler scored 56 points in game four, leading Miami to score 119 points and bringing the team's offensive efficiency rating in the series to 120.9. The Heat were one of the most disappointing offensive teams in the regular season, yet Butler has them ranked second in offensive rating across all playoff teams.
Sometimes in a playoff series, one player can take over and make up for weaknesses, which is precisely what Butler is doing. Milwaukee had a more well-rounded scoring approach and had Giannis finish with a triple-double. The Bucks also had just one less rebound than Miami and had one less turnover, yet they could not stop Jimmy Butler down the stretch.
Giannis and Brook Lopez carried Milwaukee’s offense, but if they want to combat Jimmy Butler in his current state, then they will need better production from the rest of the team. Khris Middleton was 4 for 12 from the field for 14 points, while the Bucks bench had a (-4.7) NET rating for the game.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be targeting Jrue Holiday to go over his three-point total of 2.5, currently priced at (+105). The veteran struggled in game four, going 2 for 11 from deep in the game, and he has only gone over this total once in this series, but I think he’s going to have a big game tonight. The volume is there, as he is averaging nine attempts per game, and Giannis being back in the lineup does help his chances here.
Holiday goes from a 31.8% three-point shooter on the road to a 42.9% shooter from deep when playing at home. He takes on a Miami team that is 11th amongst playoff teams in opponent three-point percentage during the series, and that has allowed the most assists per game, which helps with spot-up opportunities in this situation. In three elimination games with the Bucks, Holiday is averaging 18.3 points per game. The point guard is third on the team in usage rate, even with Giannis back in the lineup, and I think he is in the prime position to benefit from Giannis distributing on drives when the Heat collapse on him.
Jrue Holiday Over 2.5 Three Pointers Made (+105)