Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha

Bucks to win (-105) at BKN – BetMGM (2:03 PM CT)

The Bucks played a competitive Game 1 despite shooting just 6-of-30 from behind the arc, plus some incredible shot-making from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at points. I assume Milwaukee's three-point shooting will improve while Durant and Irving will miss some of the tough shots they were making.

Nick Whalen

Bucks +1.0 (-112) at BKN – DraftKings (11:41 AM CT)

Game 1 was a disappointing showing from the Bucks – especially on defense – with James Harden playing less than one minute. But with Harden already ruled out, Milwaukee has no excuses if it can't take advantage and even the series before heading back home for Games 3 and 4. The Bucks should get a much better game from Khris Middleton, and Blake Griffin should come back down to earth after having his best game in two years Saturday.

Kevin Durant OVER 32.5 points (-107) vs. MIL – DraftKings

The Nets' complementary pieces played so well that they didn't need a massive game from Durant to take Game 1 comfortably. But I expect Milwaukee to do a better job of limiting Griffin and Joe Harris in Game 2, so Durant will have to shoulder more of the scoring burden alongside Kyrie Irving. Getting to 33 points against an elite opponent is no easy feat, but Durant is the best scorer in the world, and with Harden unavailable, Durant should again be set for a high-minute night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo OVER 12.5 rebounds (-125) at BKN – DraftKings

The Bucks were thoroughly outplayed in Game 1, but the one area they were able to dominate was rebounding. Milwaukee pulled down 58 rebounds – 15 of which came on the offensive end. Antetokounmpo did not account for any of those (he still finished with 11 rebounds), but that should change in Game 2, and the Bucks will be able to continue cleaning up the defensive glass so long as Brooklyn hesitates to throw a true big man into the rotation. 

Ken Crites

Mikal Bridges OVER 11.5 points (-134) vs. DEN – DraftKings (1:43 PM CT)

Bridges averaged 13.5 points per game during the regular season. But more importantly, the DEN forwards will become obsessed with helping their backup guards defend Booker and Paul. This will leave Bridges open for lots of easy catch-and-shoots. And, frankly, Michael Porter plays bad defense.

Jacob Lebowitz

Jrue Holiday to record a double-double (+285) at BKNDraftKings (11:49 AM CT)

Holiday has had a phenomenal postseason so far, but the Bucks will need more from Holiday in a crucial Game 2. The 30-year-old has become a consistent threat to record a double-double every night, as he's a smart passer and is one of the best guards that can snag rebounds consistently. In every playoff game this season except for two, Holiday has recorded a double-double. In one of the games where he didn't record a double-double, he finished with nine rebounds, and in the other, he finished with nine assists. I expect this game to be another high-scoring game that will allow Holiday to rack up points and assists with ease. The Nets aren't great at rebounding either, which will benefit Holiday if he cannot get enough assists.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
Ken
An early RotoWire contributor from the 90's, K-Train returns with the grace of Gheorghe Muresan and the wisdom of Joe Gibbs. Tweet @KenCrites or e-mail at ken@rotowire.com. Ken won the FSWA 2014 Humor Article Of The Year award. He's also the 2016 Champion of the prestigious RW NBA Keeper League and the 2019 Champion of the RW NFL Ottonue Keeper League. Ken still owns a RotoNews shirt.
Jacob Lebowitz
Jacob writes about fantasy sports and sports betting for RotoWire. He's always doing something sports-related whether that's playing NBA 2K, watching a football game or playing a game of pickup basketball.
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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