By Bill Speros | | 8 mins
NBA Finals: Suns vs Bucks Odds, Tips & Ultimate Betting Guide
The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks each traveled the road of the underdog to reach the NBA Finals as the top seeds in each conference fell along the way.
The No. 2-seed Suns play host to the third-seeded Bucks in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals on Tuesday. On paper, this series is highlighted by a matchup of two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo against budding NBA star Devin Booker. The Suns are slight favorites to win the franchise’s first NBA title at NBA betting sites. The Bucks last won an NBA title 50 years ago and were led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson.
CHECK & COMPARE: The Latest 2021 NBA Title Odds
Suns vs. Bucks NBA Finals Odds
|To Win Series||Suns -200; Bucks +165|
|Total Games Played||Over 5.5 -114; Under 5.5 -114|
|To Win 4-0||Suns +800; Bucks +1600|
|To Win 4-1||Suns +400; Bucks +800|
|To Win 4-2||Suns +450; Bucks +500|
|To Win 4-3||Suns +550; Bucks +550|
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Suns sports betting backers enjoyed tremendous value throughout the regular season and early on during the playoffs across NBA futures markets. The Suns are 60.9% against the spread during the regular season and playoffs, and they hit the over in 55.2% of their games.
The Suns' NBA Finals history includes losses in 1976 and 1993. Local fans of the Suns, of course, have not 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, but Arizona bettors won't find the kind of odds that were available last fall on their team. Bucks backers in the Badger State can head to either Illinois, Iowa or Michigan to place their legal wagers.
Suns vs. Bucks Betting Tips
”Freakonomics”: The literal and figurative betting storyline entering the 2021 NBA Finals is the health and status of Antetokounmpo. If he is able to play, “The Greek Freak” will be the best player on the floor given his strength on both offense and defense. Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextended knee in Milwaukee’s 4-2 series win over Atlanta and missed the final two games of that series.
He continues to be listed as day-to-day and his return to the lineup, if/when it occurs, will have an immediate impact on both futures and day-of-game NBA odds. Stay tuned to your local Twitter feed for the latest.
The Finals Without Giannis: If Antetokounmpo’s injury is worse than feared, or he opts not to push it to avoid the possibility of long-term damage, the Suns will have a decisive edge given that they can, and should, beat the Bucks even with Giannis. Against Atlanta, Khris Middleton showed he could score against other teams besides the Celtics. But there is limited reliable firepower in Milwaukee’s lineup. The Suns can light up any opponent. And they hold the edge in most key matchups away from Antetokounmpo.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Check Out Our NBA Finals MVP Odds & Best Bets
The Finals With Giannis: This is what NBA fans and bettors want because it offers certainty in terms of what to expect and examine data-wise, and provides the chance for a very competitive – see seven-game – series. Even 90% of Antetokounmpo is better than about 99% of the rest of the league. Phoenix will try to slow him down defensively and the role of Mikal Bridges is pivotal here. The Suns still have a more well-rounded and deeper team. They have been touched with a tint of destiny since that 8-0 run in the Bubble last year. But superstars like Giannis tend to create their own legacy in the biggest moments.
What About CP3? Chris Paul is perhaps the best player in NBA history who has never appeared in the Finals. That ends Tuesday night after what was his 16th season in the league. Paul came to Phoenix in the offseason and has adapted to what is a supporting role in terms of scoring, but not in leadership. He showed he still has plenty of “Point God” game left with his 41-point performance in Phoenix’s Western Conference-title-clinching win over the Clippers in Game 6.
Don’t be fooled by that amazing night. Paul has dealt with a COVID-related hiatus and a hand injury. Look to back the Under in his nightly point totals at top sportsbooks if you want to grab good value. He knows his role, and it’s not to score points.
Check out the best NBA playoff predictions from the top handicappers, only at bookiesEDGE
Suns vs. Bucks Predictions
While the status and ability of Antetokounmpo is unknown, it seems unrealistic to expect that he will be anything close to the player who carried the Bucks all season. The sort of knee injury with which he is dealing with is often insidious. The fact that he missed two games against the Hawks when the Bucks were far from certain to advance is a bad harbinger for those who want to see the best players at their best on the NBA’s biggest stage. Or for those who backed the Bucks to win the NBA Finals at +850 odds before their first-round sweep of the Heat.
The Bucks were built for a title run in 2021. But their epicenter is Antetokounmpo, and the group of veterans who rotate around him are not enough to beat Phoenix in a long series without his gravitational pull. The Suns have been kissed by destiny all season. More importantly, they are deep, have multiple scoring options and are fearless – to wit their destruction of LeBron James and the Lakers in Round 1.
Phoenix beat Milwaukee in their two meetings this season. The moneyline on Phoenix to win the series moved significantly since Milwaukee eliminated Atlanta, so grab the Suns to win the NBA Finals at -180 with FanDuel while you can. The best overall value play backing the Suns comes with Phoenix winning the NBA Finals in six games, which is +450 at FanDuel . That allows for the return of Antetokounmpo and likely over-achievement by the rest of the Bucks in one or two games without him.
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NBA Finals Schedule & TV Information
All games on ABC
Game 1: Tuesday at Suns, 9 p.m. ET
Game 2: Thursday at Suns, 9 p.m. ET
Game 3: Sunday at Bucks, 8 p.m. ET
Game 4: Wednesday, July 14 at Bucks, 9 p.m. ET
Game 5*: Saturday, July 17 at Suns, 9 p.m. ET
Game 6*: Tuesday, July 20 at Bucks, 9 p.m. ET
Game 7*: Thursday, July 22 at Suns, 9 p.m. ET