The 2021 Eastern Conference finals continue with a pivotal battle on a Sunday evening at State Farm Arena. The Atlanta Hawks host the Milwaukee Bucks for Game 3 in front of a sold-out crowd. The two teams split the first two games in Milwaukee, with Atlanta stealing home-court advantage as a result. Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) is listed as probable for Milwaukee, with Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) listed as questionable for Atlanta.
Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET in Atlanta. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Bucks as 4.5-point road favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 224 in the latest Bucks vs. Hawks odds. Before you make any Hawks vs. Bucks picks, be sure to check out the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned almost $9,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $700 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the conference finals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on a stunning 100-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Bucks vs. Hawks spread: Bucks -4.5
- Bucks vs. Hawks over-under: 224 points
- Bucks vs. Hawks money line: Bucks -185, Hawks +165
- MIL: The Bucks are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
- ATL: The Hawks are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Bucks can cover
Milwaukee has plenty of star power, headlined by Antetokounmpo. The two-time NBA MVP is averaging 28.9 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in the playoffs, and the Hawks have not produced any defensive answers against him through two games. In addition, Jrue Holiday has been dominant in the backcourt, averaging 27.5 points and 8.5 assists per game in the series, and Atlanta's short-handed perimeter rotation could allow that production to continue.
As a team, the Bucks have generated a whopping 132 points in the paint through two games, putting consistent pressure on the rim. Milwaukee is also one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the NBA, grabbing 29.7 percent of its own missed shots in the playoffs. The Bucks are averaging 20.0 second-chance points and 21.0 fast break points per game in the series, and they can fall back on the NBA's best playoff defense, yielding only 102.8 points per 100 possessions in the postseason.
Why the Hawks can cover
The Bucks are perceived as the superior team, and that is backed up by the seeding in the series. However, Atlanta has been a different squad under Nate McMillan, and that is especially true at home. The Hawks finished 17-2 in their final 19 regular season games at State Farm Arena.
Overall, Atlanta posted a 27-11 record after McMillan took over as the interim head coach, and that included a stellar +4.5 net rating. Clearly, that success has continued into the playoffs, with the Hawks pulling back-to-back upset victories to reach this point, and they can also take solace in having a legitimate superstar in Trae Young. The third-year guard averaged 25.3 points per game in the regular season, nearing the league lead with 9.4 assists per contest. In the playoffs, Young has been even better, putting up 29.4 points and 9.9 assists per game.
How to make Hawks vs. Bucks picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting 222 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can only get this pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Bucks vs. Hawks? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.