We’ve been banking on superstars to carry their teams and cash on the NBA betting lines, but sometimes it’s that one role player that can turn the tide. Both of Thursday’s NBA games are in pivotal moments. The Milwaukee Bucks badly need to beat the Brooklyn Nets. The Los Angeles Clippers know they let the Utah Jazz slip away and would like to amend that mistake.
Superstars like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard will most likely put up their lofty numbers. But who will be stepping up to help them?
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Khris Middleton: Step Up, Young Buck
If there is one player that needs to step up in this second round, it’s forward Khris Middleton. The Milwaukee Bucks’ third-best player needs to be a bigger factor in the series. He can start by shooting better from deep. He has only shot 3-of-11 from three this series.
Middleton is one player who benefits tremendously from playing at home. During the regular season, his three-point accuracy was just 36.6 percent on the road and 46.8 percent from home. Against Miami, he hit 6-of-12 threes at the Fiserv Forum. Bet online on him to finally get it going this game.
Pick: Khris Middleton (MIL) Total Made 3 Point FGs – Over 2½ 3 Pt FGs (-115)
Mike James: His Name is …
Many fans might have wondered, “Who the heck is Mike James?” when the Brooklyn Nets signed him late in the season. But the Euroleague star has begun to come alive this series averaging 11 points while hitting 50 percent of his three-point attempts.
steve nash says he hasn’t even met new net mike james yet, but james is going to play tonight
James Herbert (@outsidethenba) April 23, 2021
With James Harden hurt and guard Bruce Brown now starting, the minutes are there for James and he’s averaged 27 minutes this series. As a talented scorer, look for James to continue getting opportunities as he scores over 10 points yet again regardless of the game score.
Pick: Mike James (BKN) Total Points – Over 10½ Points (-115)
Terance Mann: Mann Up
The perpetually enigmatic Clippers guard/forward Mann is the type of player who will score a dozen points one game and disappear the next. But he’s a had a six-game stretch this postseason where he’s averaged five points, 3.3 boards and 0.5 assists in just 17 minutes.
That translates to seven points, 4.7 boards, and 0.7 assists per 24 minutes. As a decent two-way player who’s had a positive plus-minus in all but one game, he should be able to play enough to go over the modest 5½ stats he’s lined with.
Pick: Terance Mann (LAC) Total Points+Rebounds+Assists – Over 5½ (-120)
Bojan Bogdanovic: If You Need Me Now
If you want to talk about consistency, look no further than Utah forward Bojan Bogdanovic. The 6-foot-7 point forward has averaged 16.2 points in his last five games, but his totals never went below 13 nor did it go over 18. His 4.8 rebounds fluctuate a bit more.
But with a 22½ total, Bogdanovic should be able to break the threshold, especially if guard Mike Conley continues to sit with a hamstring strain. The Jazz will turn to Bogdanovic to be the team’s second-best option behind Donovan Mitchell.