Bucks-Hawks Game 4 best bets: Play the total with Trae nicked up

Nathaniel S. Butler / National Basketball Association / Getty

The Bucks have a golden opportunity to extend their series lead against a Hawks team dealing with a key injury.

Star point guard Trae Young is questionable for Tuesday after stepping on a referee's foot, setting Milwaukee up as a sizable road favorite.

Here's the skinny on both the spread and total, as well as a couple prop bets to consider.

Bucks @ Hawks (+6.5, 219)

Outside of a blip in Game 1 of the current series, the Bucks are hitting their stride. They closed out the second round versus the Nets with consecutive wins against the spread, and they covered each of the last two versus Atlanta while recording a plus-45 scoring margin.

Although Monday's box score revealed a double-digit win for Milwaukee, it was a lot closer than expected: Atlanta held a three-point lead at the time of Young's injury before getting outscored by 13 in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks managed just 17 points in the final frame without Young. That's fresh in the market's mind, and it's a big reason why Milwaukee's laying seven points on the road with the lowest total of the series.

Atlanta's offense simply can't win without a healthy Young; he's nearly unstoppable in the pick-and-roll and can shoot from long distance when defenses sag off.

The third-year guard - who made his playoff debut this year - already has eight postseason games with 30 or more points, and he's recorded 29 more assists than the next-closest player.

Top 5 VORP (value over replacement player) in 2021 playoffs

Player VORP
Kevin Durant 1.5
Kawhi Leonard 1.4
Giannis Antetokounmpo 1.4
Trae Young 1.3
Luka Doncic 1.0

Young can probably operate in half-court sets, but will head coach Nate McMillan force the tempo? The Hawks and Bucks have played at a snail's pace of just 100.8 possessions per game so far in the series.

The Bucks have only gone over the total once in their last seven games as playoff favorites. The Hawks, meanwhile, have quietly cashed six unders in their last seven tries.

Bettors can expect a lower-scoring tilt.

Pick: Under 219

Player props

Brook Lopez over 10.5 points

Lopez's volume is trending down - he's averaging fewer than 23 minutes per game this season - but I like the spot. The veteran big averaged 14 points per game in three regular-season meetings versus the Hawks to go with an offensive rating of 127.

He's also fared better on the road this season, averaging 1.5 points more per game than at home.

John Collins under 1.5 made threes

The Hawks may need Collins to pick up the slack from beyond the arc with Young ailing, but that's a lot easier said than done. The athletic forward's been held without multiple triples in all three games this series and five straight dating back to the second round.

Volume will be a challenge, too, as Collins has attempted five or fewer threes in 16 straight contests.

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. Find him on Twitter @AjKolodziej.

Bucks-Hawks Game 4 best bets: Play the total with Trae nicked up
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