NBA Picks & Parlay of the Weekend | March 30

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
NBA Parlay of the Weekend
NBA Picks and Parlay of the Weekend

After a big winning parlay last week, we lock in on a battle in the Eastern Conference between a pair of teams with eyes on the playoffs. Atlanta is holding on to the last Play-In Tournament spot without Trae Young and they host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Milwaukee is expected to not have star shooter Damian Lillard. We explain what it all means as we make a winner.

Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks Best Bet

Bucks ML (-190) at BetMGM

Interestingly, these are two teams suddenly going in different directions. The Bucks are pretty much locked in as the two seed in the East behind Boston. They’ve had a chance at some good wins here and come up bad, losing to the Pelicans and Lakers. Tonight they will be without Damian Lillard who will miss the game attending to a personal matter.

Meanwhile, Atlanta lost ace scorer Trae Young a while back and has…played better? The Hawks are 12-10 without Young and 22-29 with him. They’ve come on and won four in a row, including a win over the East-leading Celtics.

Atlanta has a Play-In Tournament spot sewed up just about. They are 5.5 games up on the Nets for the last spot. That lets them play with some ease.

But Milwaukee is still a better team with Giannis and they need a win. Take the Bucks in a close one.

Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks Total Best Bet

Over 225.5 (-110) at BetMGM

I think if the total was 10 points higher, I would still take the over.

Atlanta has been one of the best over/under bets in the NBA this season. They are 40-33 over/under, while the Bucks are 35-36-2.

The Hawks last six games have all hit the over and they’ve averaged 119 in their last six games.

When looking at a total, I always figure both teams are going to hit 100 points, then you look for those extra points to push you over. But the Bucks have been averaging 119 points in their last six games too. This figure is probably lower because of no Lillard, but that doesn’t bother me at all. It’s still the same two freewheeling teams. When they met in December the game ended with 253 points combined.

Even without Lillard, this game screams over.

Dejounte Murray Total Points Best Bet

Over 25.5 (+170) at DraftKings

Maybe Trae Young has been holding Dejounte Murray back?

Murray has come on since Young went to the injured list with an injured finger. He’s averaged 28 points in his last 10 games. He had 44 points in the win over Boston and 30 against Portland. Young is a high-volume shooter (code for he shoots too much) and now that he’s out of the line-up, there are more shots for Murray and he’s making them count.

It was a wild season for Murray who was the subject of trade rumors before the NBA trade deadline. He stayed put and the Hawks have to be thrilled he’s still here. He had 30 points when the two teams met in December.

Murray will get plenty of shots and points tonight.

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Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.