Trae Young will try to lead his Cinderella story Atlanta Hawks to yet another upset win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight, but Giannis Antetokounmpo will certainly have something to say about that. While Milwaukee overcame an early 2-0 deficit to outlast Brooklyn in the semifinals, the Bucks will be desperate to avoid a similar hole this time around.
While oddsmakers certainly expect Milwaukee to get revenge tonight, we’ve identified an Antetokounmpo angle for our Hawks vs. Bucks Game 2 prop bet pick that we believe provides tremendous value for bettors.
Let’s jump into our pick, complete with full analysis below.
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Hawks vs. Bucks Game 2 Player Prop Bet
Giannis Antetokounmpo Under 33.5 Points (FanDuel Sportsbook -104)
The Atlanta Hawks stole Game 1 on the road Wednesday night, handing Milwaukee its first home home postseason loss. However, what was evident was the Hawks’ lack of defensive answers for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
At will, the Greek Freak received the ball at the top of the key, gathered a head of steam, and charged down the lane for easy buckets at the rim.
Antetokounmpo ended the night 14-25 (56.0%) from the field, good for 34 points, including a stellar 6-8 (75.0%) effort from the foul line. He played a near-perfect game, did whatever he wanted offensively, and yet, he still only scored a half-point more than this prop bet allows.
Assuming Atlanta would like to win Game 2 and make the necessary adjustments to slow the Bucks’ star, it’s hard to fathom him having the means and opportunity to replicate his Game 1 production.
The Numbers Don’t Support This Prop Total
After all, it’s not like Antetokounmpo has been dropping 35 a game throughout the regular season and playoffs. He averaged 28.1 points per game during the regular season. Even with a nearly six-minute bump in playing time in the playoffs, that number has only climbed to 29.3 ppg.
Interestingly, he has failed to reach 34 points in seven of his 12 playoff games thus far, while scoring exactly 34 in four others. In other words, he beat this prop by more than a half-point just once in 12 tries this postseason and that came in Game 7 of the Brooklyn series that went to overtime and saw the big man log 50 minutes of court time.
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Things in the regular season were not drastically more impressive either. He failed to reach 34 points in 44 of his 61 regular season games (72.1%), including 24 of his final 29 games leading up to the playoffs (82.8%).
His three games against these Hawks in the regular season produced just 27, 15, and 31 points, despite topping his season average in minutes played twice in those outings.
Quite simply, Antetokounmpo averages less points at home this season and that seems to correlate with the team’s home success.
After all, he averages less points, less shot attempts, and more assists in Milwaukee wins than losses this season, lending to the mentality that they are a worse team when he is asked to or tries to do everything. With Atlanta more likely to send extra bodies to him at the high post before he can get downhill, that recipe for a Bucks win should have the chance to manifest this evening.
One final note. we mentioned his Game 1 free throw success, knocking down six of eight freebies. This was his second-best foul shooting performance of the playoffs and his best since Game 2 against Miami.
Regression seems inevitable for a guy making just 55.4% of his foul shots during the postseason. Moreover, the league acknowledged that his final two made shots from the stripe in the final moments of Game 1 should not have counted due to 10-second violations missed by the officiating crew.
You can be sure that will be a point of emphasis here in Game 2 and could cost Antetokounmpo a critical point or two for his team and for this prop total.
Enjoy some free value on the under here, as this total is obviously inflated a bit due to his overall reputation and Game 1 performance.
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