This article is part of our NBA Picks series.
Nikola Vucevic over 20.5 points at Bucks (-110) – FanDuel, 11:44 PM CT
It's tough to gauge exactly how the Bulls will handle not having LaVine or Caruso available, since at least one of them has been on the court for almost every meaningful minute of basketball in the series. So, instead of speculating on Patrick Williams' shot attempts or Ayo Dosunmu's potential assists – since I don't really trust the on/off court numbers for such a small sample – I'm going to bank on Vucevic having a bigger role than usual. And banking on Vucevic to score 21 or more points doesn't feel like too much of a gamble in this situation. He's already averaging 19.5 PPG in this series, and it's possible he plays nearly all 48 minutes with elevated usage with LaVine and Caruso out. The risk is that the Bulls get blown out and score like 85 points, but Vucevic could still contribute nearly one third of those and it wouldn't be surprising.
2-Leg Parlay: Nikola Jokic to score 25+ points + Warriors to win (-176) – FanDuel, Noon CT
Normally, taking a player to hit over a points prop but an opponent to win is considered counter-productive. I get that, but the 25 points is such a low bar to clear for Jokic that I'm not worried about both legs hitting. He's scored at least 25 points in each of the first four games of the series, and he's combined for 74 over the past two. At the same time, it's hard for me to imagine the Warriors losing in this spot. Denver has made things more competitive over the past two games, though that was on home turf. I expect the Warriors to come out like they did in the first two games of the series and overwhelm the Nuggets offensively. Plus, it helps that Curry is no longer on a minutes limit, so he'll be free to play as much as he needs if things get close.
Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks (-12.0) – FanDuel Sportsbook, 11:30 AM CT
Both of tonight's games have big spreads, and while I don't love either of them, this is the one I'm slightly more confident about. Despite losing Khris Middleton, the Bucks dominated Games 3 and 4 in Chicago, and they'll now face a banged-up Bulls team missing its starting backcourt. It's very possible Milwaukee comes out sluggish, as it did in Games 1 and 2, but over the course of 48 minutes, I trust Giannis and Co. to get the job done in convincing fashion.
Ken "K-Train" Crites
I'm taking the OVER on Bobby Portis scoring 14.5 points (FD -118 as of 1:55pm ET)
As a starter this season (59 games), Portis is averaging 15.5 points per game. And 59 games is a large sample size. With Chicago having so many injuries, tonight's game could be a blowout (MIL is -10pt favorite). If so, the Bucks will be much more concerned about resting Giannis, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez relative to Portis. I expect Crazy Eyes to have a big night.