Nobody expected the Hawks to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, but they are now just four wins away from an NBA Finals appearance. However, they will have to pull yet another massive upset if they are to outlast the Bucks. Oddsmakers strongly favor Milwaukee in both Game 1 and the series.
Let’s take a closer look at this Game 1 Eastern Conference Finals matchup between Atlanta and Milwaukee with our best player prop bet pick.
Hawks vs. Bucks Game 1 Player Prop Bet
Clint Capela to Record a Double Double – Yes (DraftKings Sportsbook -143)
Clint Capela has always been a trench-warrior in the NBA. Any guy who averages nearly as many rebounds per game as he does points will never get the public recognition he might deserve. Still,, remaining under the radar does not seem to bother Capela and could play to our advantage a bit here tonight.
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Capela led the NBA in rebounds per game during the regular season with 14.3, while scoring 15.2 points per game. He recorded double digits in rebounds in all but seven of his 63 regular season games (88.9%), while achieving the same in nine of his 12 playoff outings (75.0%).
Some will look at his dip to 11.6 boards per game in the playoffs as a possible cause for concern, but bear in mind that Capela was squared up against Joel Embiid for much of the seven game series with the Sixers. He had 12 or more rebounds in all five of the games in the Knicks series and logged 14 and 16 boards in his two games against the Bucks this season.
An Advantageous Matchup
The matchup with Milwaukee may serve Capela well. Offensively, he will certainly be the afterthought and is likely to draw Brook Lopez for large portions of the game. Atlanta will surely continue to spread the court with its shooters facing the league’s second worst three-point field goal percentage defense. That would draw those other Bucks defenders to the perimeter, leaving Capela alone inside for possible easy points in the post.
The 6’10” Capela also led the NBA with 4.43 offensive rebounds per game and could take a huge chunk out of both necessary pieces of this prop bet with some put backs.
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Crash the Boards
Defensively, Capela could also find success on the boards. If used to guard Giannis Antetokounmpo, he will find himself on the trailing end of pick-and-rolls, allowing him to crash the lane for rebounds. If selected to guard Brook Lopez, his athleticism and instinctual positioning should allow him to clean up numerous misses from other Milwaukee players.
Also, with Antetokounmpo totaling 31 missed free throws in the Brooklyn series alone, the numbers say that Capela will get more than four failed attempts from the stripe tonight to pad those rebound stats.
Reaching 10 points may be the tougher ask in this prop for Capela, but there is ample reason to believe he should attain that mark. He averaged 11 points per game in his two games against Milwaukee this season, which certainly fails to excite. However, after playing just 32 minutes in Game 7, and with his rebounding presence constantly needed on the court against an opponent which led the league in rebounds per game, Capela should be lined up for major minutes tonight.
The Hawks’ center has tallied double-digit points in eight of his last 10 postseason games, no small feat when facing Embiid for 70% of those outings. Capela finished the regular season with eight straight games of 10+ points and scored in double figures in 50 of his final 61 games leading up to the playoffs (82.0%).
The Bucks and Hawks when they meet in the Eastern Conference Finals pic.twitter.com/NZsCtrEyLj
— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) June 21, 2021
Capela was a better rebounder on the road this season and also averaged more court time away from home. His rebounding and scoring increased after the All-Star break, as did his free throw attempts per game, which jumped from 3.1 to 4.1, and his free throw shooting percentage, jumping from 55.0% to 59.1%. We mention this because with Washington and Atlanta opening Pandora’s Box on the hack-a-Ben approach on Ben Simmons, Capela becomes the next most likely candidate to see this used against him.
He won’t see many freebies without contact and will surely be Milwaukee’s first choice to foul in late game scenarios, if necessary. Even one or two extra trips to the stripe could be the difference for us if this one gets close late.
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