The Atlanta Hawks welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to State Farm Arena for a must-win 2021 NBA Playoffs clash on Saturday evening. The Hawks trail the Bucks 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals, with their season in the balance in Game 6. Milwaukee responded with a 123-112 win in Game 5, erasing the damage caused by a Game 4 flop. Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is out for Milwaukee, with Trae Young (foot) listed as questionable for Atlanta.
Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET in Atlanta. William Hill Sportsbook lists Atlanta as a two-point favorite in the latest Hawks vs. Bucks odds. The over-under for total points is listed at 217, up a point from the opening line. Before finalizing any Bucks vs. Hawks 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: Hawks -2
- Bucks vs. Hawks over-under: 217 points
- Bucks vs. Hawks money line: Hawks -135, Bucks +115
- Milwaukee: The Bucks are 4-4 against the spread in playoff road games
- Atlanta: The Hawks are 4-3 against the spread in playoff home games
Why the Bucks can cover
Milwaukee operated without Antetokounmpo in Game 5, and that performance served as a reminder that the Bucks have plenty of talent even with their top player unavailable. Khris Middleton produced 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, with Jrue Holiday adding 25 points, 13 assists and six rebounds. Both Middleton and Holiday have All-Star pedigree, and they are highly effective perimeter options. Elsewhere, Brook Lopez was a dominant force in Game 5, scoring 33 points and grabbing seven rebounds, and the Hawks had no answers for his physicality.
Milwaukee's defense is also stellar, as the Bucks lead the entire NBA Playoffs 2021 in defensive rating at only 104.9 points allowed per 100 possessions. The Bucks also lead the postseason in free-throw rate allowed (0.191), and they are excellent at contesting shots and grabbing defensive rebounds (77.0 percent of available rebounds). Atlanta has had all kinds of trouble putting pressure on the rim, scoring only 40 points in the paint per game, and the Hawks have assisted on only 50.0 percent of their makes in the series, with the Bucks forcing them into one-on-one opportunities.
Why the Hawks can cover
It's been a roller coaster for Atlanta, but the Hawks have shown the ability to step up when it matters in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The Hawks were resilient in winning three games on the road against top-seeded Philadelphia, and they have been an excellent home team under Nate McMillan. Atlanta succumbed to a disastrous start in Game 5 but, for the final three quarters, the Hawks out-scored the Bucks and they can take solace in that implied edge. The Hawks have been much better defensively in the playoffs than they were during the regular season, yielding only 1.1 points per possession.
Atlanta also flashed considerable defensive upside in Game 4, stifling Milwaukee's attack and limiting the Bucks to only 88 points. The Bucks are shooting just 29.3 percent from 3-point range during the series, with the Hawks running them off the line in effective fashion, and Atlanta will have two days to prepare for Milwaukee's adjustments made in Game 5. Bogdan Bogdanovic is also regaining his regular-season form, connecting on 43 percent of his 3-point attempts in the last two games and burying a whopping 13 3-pointers in those two contests. That kind of shooting can be an X-factor in an urgent scenario for the home team.
How to make Hawks vs. Bucks picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting 219 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 Hawks vs. Bucks? 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.