After one of the strangest Eastern Conference Finals games we have ever witnessed, the Milwaukee Bucks are one win away from making it to the NBA Finals.
Both superstars rested their injuries for game five of this series, and it was up to the role players to make their mark on the game.
For the Bucks, Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis stepped up in a big way, scoring over 50 points combined as a duo and filling in the void Giannis left with his knee injury.
Atlanta struggled to put together good offensive possessions without Trae to lead them, and it was a much different game than game four was for them.
Their backs are now against the wall as they are one game away from being eliminated. They will have to come out and show up for their home crowd.
Let’s break down the matchup and help you determine your best bets.
Milwaukee Bucks Betting Preview: A dominating performance by Lopez
Brook Lopez really answered the call in game five and went back to his roots as a player in this league.
He stepped away from the three-point line and took the opportunity to dominate the interior and show off his post moves against the Atlanta defense.
It makes you wonder why Milwaukee had not utilized this as a strategy in previous matchups, but it was still unexpected for him to play so well.
Really, Milwaukee stuck with their starters for most of the game and barely played seven players.
They have a script while Giannis’s status is up in the air and will likely stick to the same script in game six if he is out again.
Atlanta Hawks Betting Preview: They need Trae Young to play
Even if they use him as a decoy, Trae Young returning to this lineup would be huge for the Hawks. They need his playmaking on offense.
For Young, it sounds like the pain has just been too high to put any pressure on that ankle. It is one of the most unfortunate injuries of the postseason.
Maybe at home, Lou Williams and Kevin Huerter can find a way to fill in as they did in game four, but it is not going to be easy.
Either way, the Hawks are in desperation mode, and it is time for them to answer the call to stay alive.
Bucks @ Hawks Betting Odds and Lines
Coming into this Saturday night matchup, the people over at MyBookie have the Atlanta Hawks favored at home by one point over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Oddsmakers must believe Young will return to action for this game or that it will be similar in nature to game four of this series.
Free Betting Pick
This has, by far, been the weirdest series of the entire postseason. No one thought Atlanta would be here, but I think they are going to be able to take this to seven games.
They have the tools, and their home crowd will be behind them.