The Eastern Conference Finals are finally here. The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks are set to face off on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET. Of course, the home team is favored, but the Hawks are known for exceeding expectations.
Below is a look at a number of predictions ahead of Thursday night’s Free $5K DraftKings Pools - Playoff Edition (MIL-ATL).
Which team will cover the spread? Hawks +6.5 or Bucks -6.5
Only one of the games in this series has been decided by single digits, and that was Game 1 when the Hawks opened the series with a 116-113 win. Since then, both the Hawks and Bucks have put in dominant performances, winning by 20+ each, with the Bucks adding another 11-point win in Game 3. While they’re both missing their biggest stars ahead of Game 5, expect the home team to still win handily and cover the spread in the process.
Hawks vs. Bucks: Over/Under 215.5
Even without Trae Young, the Hawks were still able to put up 110 points in their Game 4 win at home while holding the Bucks to just 88. Games 1-3 all ended up with at least 215 total points or higher, and this game isn’t expected to be much different. Over should be the play here.
Which team will reach 15 points first in the 1st Quarter: Hawks, Bucks or neither
Milwaukee will have to figure out how to adjust on both the offensive and defensive ends with Giannis Antetokounmpo out with a knee injury. I’d expect the Hawks to come out and take an early lead while the Bucks are still working on a game strategy early in the game.
Which team will have more 3-pointers made? Hawks or Bucks
The Hawks outshot the Bucks from beyond the arc in Game 4 as Bogdan Bogdanovic filled the three-point void left by Young’s absence, going 6-for-14 from downtown — the exact same number Young put up in Game 3. I’d expect the Hawks to hit more threes than the Bucks like they’ve done for the majority of the series.
Which player will have more points and assists: Kevin Huerter or Bogdan Bogdanovic?
Bogdanovic dropped a series-high 20 points in Game 4 and added five assists, but who knows if he’ll be able to keep that up heading into Game 5. Kevin Huerter has been a little more consistent throughout the series, so I think he’s the play on this one.
Will Jrue Holiday record a double-double?
He’s only recorded one double-double in this series, but has come oh-so-close in two of the other games. With Giannis out, expect the Bucks to spread the wealth as other players’ stats should increase to pick up the slack. With Jrue so close to double-doubles already, expect him to log one in Game 5.
Total points, rebounds and assists for Khris Middleton? Over/Under 41.5
I’m going with under on this one, as he’s only hit that mark once in this series — 38 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists in Game 3. He hasn’t even come close to combining for 41+ in the other three games, so while his production might go up a bit in Game 5, I don’t expect it to increase by that much.
Which team will win the 4th quarter: Hawks or Bucks?
Both teams will be desperate to win this game and take the lead in the series, and with almost the whole game under their belts to figure out a decent strategy without Giannis, I’d expect the Bucks to win the 4th quarter and take the lead down the stretch.
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