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All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
- Key Trend: Giannis has played only 11 minutes in the series.
- The Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo Under 42.5 Points, Assists & Rebounds (-111)
Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to return tonight, as his team sits in a 2-1 hole in the first round of the playoffs. But is he healthy? Not just healthy enough to play, but healthy enough to be effective?
Giannis suffered a lower back contusion in Game 1, left the game, and has not returned to action since. While a part of me wonders if Milwaukee had hoped it could "play it safe" and get by without him, it's hard to put a lot of stock in that. Sure, winning Game 2 may have given them the confidence they could do so without him again in Game 3, but is that a risk you're willing to take?
It's more likely that the back injury was more severe than Milwaukee first let on and impacted Giannis' ability to play at a high level. I won't be surprised to see a slightly diminished Giannis tonight. One that could shy away from possible contact that could aggravate his back injury. So maybe he doesn't go as hard to the basket for a layup or fight for a rebound. Maybe he takes on more of a diversionary role, somebody Miami has to account for because he's freaking Giannis Antetokounmpo, freeing up space for the rest of the Bucks.
Or maybe Giannis aggravates the injury and plays limited minutes ago. There are many reasons to be skeptical about him hitting the over on this prop.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: If you'd rather bet the game than a player prop, SportsLine's Projection Model has a B-graded play on the total, but doesn't see much value on either the spread or money line.
💰 The Picks
Grizzlies at Lakers, 10 p.m. | TV: TNT
The Pick: D'Angelo Russell Over 25.5 Points, Assists & Rebounds (-111) -- Here's a fun fact you may not have realized about the Lakers through the first three games of this series: D'Angelo Russell has the highest net rating of anybody on the team in the series. He's at +15.6, which is higher than Anthony Davis (+13.4), Austin Reaves (+8.9) and LeBron James (-7.1!). While his raw stats haven't backed it up due to a poor performance in Game 2, the Lakers have been a much better team with Russell on the floor.
Also, as is the case with a lot of role players, Russell has been better for the Lakers at home than on the road all season long. His usage increases, and his efficiency improves on both ends of the court. He looks poised for a big game tonight against a Memphis team that's been worse defensively on the road all season. Memphis' desperation tonight will likely lead to them focusing on LeBron and AD, forcing others to beat them. Russell seems primed for a big night.
White Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Lance Lynn Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-146) -- The White Sox come to Toronto fresh off being swept by the Rays and are in the midst of a disappointing start to the season. Lance Lynn has played a role in that bad start. He has an ERA of 7.59 through four starts and is getting beat up by opposing hitters. However, while Lynn has suffered when allowing contact, he's missing bats and getting strikeouts at a high rate.
Through those four starts, his strikeout rate of 27.5% is higher than last year, and at the same spot it was in 2021 when he went 11-6 with a 2.69 ERA for the White Sox. He's also had a lot of success against the Toronto hitters he'll face tonight, posting a career strikeout rate of 28.9% against them. Lynn has lasted six full innings in only one of his four starts but has recorded at least five strikeouts in each start, averaging 7.0 per appearance.