This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Khris Middleton 22+ points and Bucks to win (-130) vs. PHX – PointsBet (3:08 PM CT)
Middleton is coming off two lower-scoring games (29 combined points), but I anticipate him bouncing back in a Bucks victory. Middleton is averaging 23.3 points in home playoff games, and the Bucks are favored with line movement in their direction. This feels like a good way to bet on Milwaukee while getting a discount on what would normally be -195 odds for them to win.
Milwaukee Bucks -5.0 (-115) vs. Phoenix Suns – DraftKings (1:01 PM CT)
As I'm typing this, the line jumped from Bucks -4.5 to Bucks -5.0, which feels like it's in line with how the perception of this series has shifted following Game 3. I'm not fully convinced that Milwaukee can cruise to an easy victory, but the Bucks clearly unlocked something Sunday and should head into Game 4 with plenty of confidence. Devin Booker will play better and Deandre Ayton will have a larger impact, but the fact remains that Phoenix has very few capable options to throw at Giannis Antetokounmpo. As long as Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday don't have disastrous games, I like Milwaukee's chances to even the series.
Jrue Holiday OVER 8.5 assists (+115) vs. Phoenix Suns – DraftKings
Holiday has only dipped under nine assists twice in his last nine games, and he finished Game 3 with nine dimes on 16 potential assists. Even if the Bucks continue to shoot the ball at an average-to-below-average clip, Holiday is providing enough assist chances to continue to push for a double-double on a nightly basis. With the crowd behind him again, Holiday should have a great opportunity to get his first double-double since Game 5 against the Hawks.
OVER on Jae Crowder 6.5 Rebounds (+100) – (BetMGM, 9AM PT)
Through 19 playoff games, Crowder has averaged 5.7 boards per contest. But that was before Dario Saric's tore his ACL. In the three games without Saric, Crowder has grabbed nine, 10 and then six rebounds (Saric did play two minutes in Game 1) and is getting 34.3 minutes of run. The Suns will again need max minutes from Crowder assuming Torey Craig is still a bit slow due to his own knee issue.
Cameron Johnson OVER 8.5 Points (-128) at MIL – (FanDuel, 11:13 AM CT)
Since the start of the Western Conference Finals, Johnson has been dominant off the bench for the Suns. The second-year stud has notched nine or more points in six of his last eight games, while he's averaged 10.8 points over that eight-game stretch. With a crucial Game 4 on the line Wednesday, I expect Johnson to be given the most minutes off the bench of any player and he will continue to produce. The Suns have lacked defensive depth in the paint all series without Dario Saric, so I can see Johnson playing more minutes to fill that void. If Johnson gets 20 plus minutes of action, I fully expect him to score at least nine points.