NBA betting: Even without Giannis, bettors backing Bucks over Hawks in Game 5

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Even without Giannis Antetokounmpo, bettors are expecting the Milwaukee Bucks to beat the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday night.

Antetokounmpo hyperextended his knee in the second half of Game 4, a 110-88 Hawks win that evened the series at 2-2. The next day, Antetokounmpo was listed as doubtful to play in Game 5. And by Thursday afternoon, the Bucks listed the two-time MVP as out.

Despite it looking like Antetokounmpo would not be able to play, the Bucks opened as 4.5-point favorites for Game 5. The spread has since ticked down to Bucks -3 at BetMGM. Nonetheless, most bettors are backing the Bucks.

According to BetMGM as of early Thursday afternoon, 67% of the bets and 72% of the money it has received on the game have come in on the Bucks.

Beyond Antetokounmpo, there is another injury to monitor in this game. Hawks star Trae Young is dealing with a bone bruise in right foot. He suffered the injury late in Game 3 when he stepped on a referee’s foot. It caused Young to miss Game 4, but his teammates persevered in his absence and won the game in blowout fashion. Ahead of Game 5 in Milwaukee, Young is listed as questionable.

The Bucks are 4-3 against the spread at home during the postseason. The Hawks are 6-3 against the spread on the road during the playoffs and 8-6 ATS as an underdog.

The total in this game opened at 220.5, but has dropped down to 214.5. Most bettors are on the under. According to BetMGM, the under has received 69% of the bets and 78% of the money.

Three of the four games in this series have gone under the total. Only Game 1 was an over.

The under is 10-4-1 in the Bucks’ 15 postseason games. Better yet, the under is 12-4 in Atlanta’s 16 postseason games. That includes a 7-1 mark over the Hawks’ last eight games.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) defends the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) defends the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

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