- We’ve got Khris Middleton props tonight on this NBA playoff slate (5/27)
- The Milwaukee Bucks are on the road against the Miami Heat — tip-off at 7:30PM EST
- Milwaukee is a 1.5-point favorite in a game with a 224-point total
I’m back after a day off, and I’m seeing some value on Khris Middleton playoff props in what is must win for the Miami Heat if they are to avoid going down 0-3 to the Bucks. Milwaukee looks like a completely different team after they were eliminated from last years playoffs by the Heat. These teams are very familiar with one another as they’ve squared off a total of 13 times over the last two seasons including the playoffs.
Middleton in particular continues to give the Heat fits. The talented forward is a matchup nightmare for the Heat defense, and I expect him to find plenty of success tonight.
We cashed easily on my fade of Kristaps Porzingis two nights ago, so let’s keep it rolling here.
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Khris Middleton Playoff Props (5/27)
Bucks Forward Khris Middleton
Over 30.5 PRA (-110 @ MGM)
Middleton is playing his best basketball of the season at the right time for the Bucks, who unsurprisingly have gone 10-2 over their last 12 games, including two straight wins versus Miami in these playoffs. The former Aggie has piled up averages of 22.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 5.3 APG, good for 33.7 PRA over that same span. Those numbers are even slightly suppressed due to a few of those games being blowouts that saw Middleton and the Bucks starters resting during the fourth quarter.
Middleton has participated in every matchup against Miami over the last two seasons, including seven playoff appearances. He has eclipsed tonight’s PRA total in nine of those 13 games, and two of those misses came in blowouts. In those contests, Middleton is averaging 22.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 5.5 APG, which combines for 34.1 PRA.
The Heat are a hard nosed defensive unit that finished the regular season ranked eighth in Team Defensive Efficiency. Where they really excel as a defensive unit though is defending the paint. The Heat allow only 41.6 points in the paint per game. To put that number into perspective, the next stingiest defense is the Bucks who give up 42.9.
In contrast the Heat struggle defending the perimeter. Miami gives up the fourth-most three-point field goals per game. Middleton is a lethal marksman who shot 41.5% from behind the arc this season on 5.4 attempts.
Part of Middleton’s success can be attributed to the defensive attention Giannis Antentokounmpo commands. The Heat have made containing him their primary focus and done an excellent job limiting the reigning MVP. Giannis has only scored more than 30 points one time against Miami over the last two seasons (11 total matchups). With nearly 65% of his points coming in the paint, Giannis’ inside presence provides a ton of open looks for Middleton when Miami collapses their defense.
Despite the success Middleton has had against the Heat, I still don’t believe that Miami will make the necessary adjustments tonight to stop him. It appears to me Miami’s defense can live with his production as long as they’re able to limit Giannis. I have Middleton projected for 34 PRA tonight and think he has another nice all around game.