The big question entering Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns is whether Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will be able to play after missing the final two games of the East Finals with a knee injury. The Suns are solid home favorites on the NBA odds.
How to Bet Bucks at Suns NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Tuesday, 9 PM ET
- Where: Phoenix Suns Arena
- TV: ABC
- Stream: ESPN app
Why Bet on Milwaukee?
Will superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo play? He may be a game-time call due to his left knee injury. The Freak was excused from media availability on Monday due to his “uncertain status.” Coach Mike Budenholzer called him day-to-day over the weekend and he was spotted walking without a noticeable limp. He missed the final two games of the East Finals with the issue yet the Bucks won both. If Antetokounmpo is unable to play, it’s likely Bobby Portis will get the start once again.
Before he left Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals (and missed the remainder of the series), Antetokounmpo was in the midst of the most dominant playoff run of his career, averaging 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists on 55.1 percent shooting.
The Bucks beat the Hawks in six games in the East Finals to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974 and for just the third time in franchise history. The Bucks will look to win their second NBA title, and first since 1971. Milwaukee’s previous two NBA Finals appearances ended with the team’s only championship in 1971 – a 4-0 series sweep of the Baltimore Bullets – and a seven-game defeat against the Boston Celtics in 1974.
Milwaukee has won an impressive nine games in these playoffs by double digits. Khris Middleton led the Bucks in the Game 6 clincher vs. Atlanta, scoring 32 points. In that series, Middleton averaged 23.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Jrue Holiday nearly had a triple-double in Game 6 as he scored 27 points with nine rebounds and nine assists. He’s averaging 22.0 points, 10.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game in these playoffs.
Why Bet on Phoenix?
Chris Paul’s virtuoso 41-point performance in Game 6 against the Clippers pushed the Suns into their first NBA Finals since 1993. Paul, who will make his first Finals appearance in his 16-year NBA career, shot an impressive 16-of-24 from the field and posted 8 assists and 4 rebounds in the win.
Paul revealed over the weekend that he has been dealing with partially torn ligaments in his right hand but he’s certainly going to keep playing. The tape that was on his fingers during Games 4 and 5 was gone for Game 6, and CP3 torched the Clippers for 31 second-half points to close out the series.
“Managed it well, good,” Paul said of the injury. “These days that we’ve had off have been really good. We all get a chance to rest up a little bit before we get it going again.”
Reserve guard Cameron Johnson is expected to be ready for the start of the NBA Finals. Johnson was a late scratch due to a non-COVID illness in Game 6 vs. the Clippers on Wednesday. However, coach Monty Williams told reporters over the weekend that Johnson is fine. “He was ready to go and we found out that same day. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering about the whole deal. He was just sick,” Williams said.
The Suns were 2-0 vs. the Bucks this season but both games were decided by just one point. The one game in Phoenix finished 125-124 on Feb. 10. Devin Booker had 30 points and Chris Paul 28. The combined for 15 points in the fourth quarter. Booker made a free throw with 32 seconds left that proved to be the difference. The Bucks had a chance to win on the final possession, but Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a 20-foot jumper at the buzzer. He finished with 47 points. Starting guard Jrue Holiday was out injured.
The 2021 Finals will be the 1st Finals matchup between leading scorers (Antetokounmpo & Booker) playing on their 1st NBA team since 2010, when Kobe Bryant & Paul Pierce led their teams.
- Bucks are 13-27-1 ATS in their last 41 playoff games as an underdog.
- Bucks are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Tuesday games.
- Bucks are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games as an underdog.
- Suns are 15-5 ATS in their last 20 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Suns are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 playoff games as a favorite.
- Suns are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games as a favorite.
- Bucks are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
- Suns 115, Bucks 110
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