A wild Eastern Conference Finals continues Saturday with Game 6 in Toronto. The Raptors will have a chance to close out the Bucks on their home floor after winning each of the last three games. This also brings another opportunity to play the Showdown contest, so let’s break down both sides and discuss how things might play out.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS
— The Bucks have won each of their past five games as underdogs after losing as favorites.
— The Bucks have covered the spread in each of their past 12 road games after losing as favorites.
— Ten of the Bucks’ past 11 Saturday road games have gone over the total points line.
— The Raptors have won the first quarter in each of their past eight games vs. the Bucks at Scotiabank Arena.
— The Bucks have won the second quarter in each of their past seven games as underdogs vs. the Raptors.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
The Bucks looked to be in command of this series after winning the first two games at home, but they now find themselves on the brink of elimination. If they are going to stay alive, it will likely be on the shoulders of Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,600). After shooting 57.8 percent from the field and 72.9 percent from the charity stripe during the regular season, he’s shot 45.1 percent and 46.2 percent in those respective categories across Milwaukee’s past three losses. He still scored at least 42.5 DKFP in each contest and should once again have a tremendously high floor.
Other than providing a hefty stat line in Game 4, Khris Middleton ($8,600) has had a relatively quiet series. He’s scored 12 points or less four times, leaving him to score no more than 34 DKFP in any of those games. The Raptors did a fine job holding him down offensively during the regular season, as well, so he’s risky at this price. Maybe the best secondary option on the Bucks is Malcolm Brogdon ($7,200). He was moved into the starting five for Game 5 and cashed in with 43.8 DKFP in 34 minutes. Expect him to remain in that role with the Bucks’ season on the line.
The Raptors have done an excellent job shutting down Eric Bledsoe ($6,200), who hasn’t scored more than 29.5 DKFP in any game of this series. He’s shot just 28.8 percent from the field, so it’s hard to justify rostering him at this price. Brook Lopez ($5,200) is more appealing at a significantly lower price, but he’s been all over the place in terms of his production. He scored 57.3 DKFP in Game 1, but has also scored 19.5 DKFP or less twice in this series.
As far as the cheap options go on the Bucks, the top one to consider is George Hill ($4,000). While Bledsoe has struggled, Hill has averaged 13.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and two assists while shooting 66.7 percent from the field across the past four games. He should continue to play somewhere between 25 and 30 minutes, leaving him with plenty of upside at this price. Nikola Mirotic ($3,400) is probably someone to avoid considering he only logged nine minutes after being dropped from the starting five in Game 5. Ersan Ilyasova ($2,200) and Pat Connaughton ($1,800) should be considered as nothing more than dart-throws in tournament play. Connaughton has scored at least 10.5 DKFP in four straight games.
Can Kawhi Leonard ($11,800) get the Raptors to the NBA Finals? He continues to put up monster numbers and had his best performance against the Bucks in Game 5 with 63.3 DKFP. He’ll do a number on your budget, but he feels like a lock with what is at stake for Toronto.
There is a significant drop off between Leonard and the second-tier options on the Raptors. Pascal Siakam ($9,200) is the next most expensive player and has scored at least 43.3 DKFP twice in this series. However, he’s scored 29.5 DKFP or less in each of the other three games. There is potential here, but he’s risky. The same can be said for Kyle Lowry ($8,000), who has had some excellent performances, but has also scored 26.5 DKFP or less twice.
One player with some of the wildest swings in production over the course of this series is Marc Gasol ($5,600). He scored at least 41.3 DKFP in both of the games played in Toronto, but he scored a combined total of 57.3 DKFP across the three games in Milwaukee. His price has come down considerably, so he might be worth taking a chance on with this game being played at home. Fred VanVleet ($4,800) has come to life by scoring at least 26.3 DKFP in back-to-back games, which has resulted in his price increasing by $2,200. With that being said, he’s still one of better cheaper options on the team.
Serge Ibaka ($4,400) remains in a limited role off the bench behind Gasol and Siakam, which significantly impacts his upside. He’s largely been a bust outside of his performance in Game 4, so deploy him at your own risk. Even though Norman Powell ($3,800) only scored eight points on 2-for-7 shooting from the field Thursday, he’s still one of the more appealing cheap options on the team. He scored at least 31 DKFP in both games at home and if you pair him with Hill, it’s a great way to fit both Giannis and Leonard into your lineup. Danny Green ($3,000) bombed with a scoreless showing in Game 5. Although his price has come down significantly, he still isn’t very appealing.
THE OUTCOMEThe Raptors have the momentum and are on their home floor, so I like their chances of closing out this series. With regards to the Captain’s Pick, it comes down to either Leonard ($17,700 CP) or Giannis ($17,400 CP). It’s hard to go wrong either way, but Leonard has a slight edge with the game being in Toronto.
Final Score: Raptors 112, Bucks 110
Favorite Prop Bet
Khris Middleton, 6.5 Rebounds: Over (+120)While Middleton’s shot has been off, he has grabbed at last nine rebounds in three of five games against the Bucks. His only really poor showing in the category came in Game 2 when he hauled in just one rebound. With these odds, taking a chance on the over could prove to be profitable.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.