Long-Time Underdog Suns See Odds Surge Entering NBA Finals
Bill Speros | 4 mins
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The Phoenix Suns have beaten the odds and the rest of the Western Conference to reach the NBA Finals for just the third time in franchise history.
The Suns demolished the Clippers 130-103 in Game 6 Wednesday as Chris Paul scored 41 points. Those who have backed Phoenix at the top sportsbooks were once again rewarded. The Suns easily covered the 1-point spread and immolated the total of 215.
This is the first time Paul has reached the finals in his 16-year career, which included a stop in Los Angeles playing for the Clippers.
Until now, Paul was perhaps the best player in NBA history not to reach the Finals. He and the Suns await the winner of the Eastern Conference finals series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks. That series is tied at 2-2 heading into Game 5 Thursday night.
Suns sports betting backers enjoyed tremendous value throughout the regular season and early on during the playoffs in NBA futures markets. That value has long since evaporated. The Suns were 61.6% against the spread during the regular season (53-33-2) and hit the over in 55.2% of their games.
Local fans, of course, haven't been able to back the team at sportsbooks, as Arizona sports betting won't be live until the fall. By then, many top betting apps should be available, and AZ bettors won't find the kind of odds that were available last fall on their team.
Here is look at how the NBA odds for the Suns to win the 2021 title have progressed at DraftKings sportsbook since the end of the 2020 season. The playoffs odds listed are their odds to win the NBA Finals before each series began.
Suns 2021 NBA Title Odds
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Suns Faced Long Odds Coming Out Of West
The Suns are in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993. The price on the Suns to win the 2021 NBA Finals bottomed out at DraftKings at +6500 before Phoenix acquired Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder in November.
The Suns were +4500 to win their first-ever title on Opening Night. Their odds steadily progressed throughout the season. Phoenix was +2000 to win Pacific Division and +2200 to win the Western Conference before the season began, but captured both titles. As late as March 1, the Suns were +1000 to win the division and +1800 to win the Conference.
Phoenix easily passed its preseason win total of 38.5 at BetMGM sportsbook and cashed at -140 to make the playoffs.
The Suns were +140 in their first-round series against the Lakers at DraftKings and had absorbed just 27% of the betting handle before the series began. The Suns then went full Goon Squad on LeBron James and the Lakers, ousting the defending champs in six games. The Suns then swept the Nuggets by an average score of 121.5-105.8. While Phoenix was -220 to advance past Denver in the that round, only 18% of the pre-series handle was behind the Suns.
The Suns were -225 at FanDuel sportsbook in the Western Conference finals to advance past the injury-ravaged Clippers – who lost Kawhi Leonard to an ACL sprain in their series against the Jazz and were +188.
Road To Finals Began In Bubble
The Suns run began last year in the NBA Bubble. Monty Williams’ unheralded squad went 8-0 and gained support among bettors and fans with each victory.
Phoenix was both a trendy and wise value play heading into the 2021 season, especially after acquiring Paul in the offseason to both solidify its back court and deliver stable, veteran leadership in the locker room and on the floor. The Suns did not have to rely on Paul’s scoring throughout much of the regular season and playoffs, just his ballhandling and passing skills (8.9 assists per game in the postseason).
It was poetic for Suns fans and backers, however, that he delivered the knockout punch to the Clippers at Staples Center.
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With Paul’s help, the Suns have been blistering from beyond the arc in the postseason. They have hit 37.3% of their 3-point attempts and sank 17 of 31 tries in Game 6.
Devin Booker has emerged as the epicenter of Phoenix’s offense. His 27 points and 20.7 shots per game lead the Suns in the postseason and is third among players remaining, only behind Trae Young of the Hawks and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Both Young and Antetokounmpo are dealing with injuries and could be limited if their respective team reaches the Finals. The Suns, meanwhile, will rested and healthy when the Finals begin in Phoenix.