Updated July 20, 10:00 a.m.
For the first time in the 2021 NBA Finals, a visiting team won a game. The Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t seem to miss a shot in their four-point Game 5 win against the Phoenix Suns to take a 3-2 series lead. Now, an opportunity for the Bucks presents itself; their first NBA title since 1971.
The Suns earned a 2-0 lead to open the NBA Finals series with a pair of fantastic performances to open up the series at home. Since those two double-digit victories, Phoenix dropped the following three games, including Game 5 at home. Now the Suns face elimination in their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993.
"We have to re-group…we have to get ready for Game 6. We got to win a game in Milwaukee. That’s all that matters right now." – Chris Paul after #Bucks take Game 5, and a 3-2 series lead.
— Eric Sorenson (@EricSports360AZ) July 18, 2021
Phoenix Suns: +5.0 (-115) | Moneyline: +175
Milwaukee Bucks: -5.0 (-105) | Moneyline: -200
The sportsbooks have made an interesting move to impact incoming bets. While the Bucks are a hefty favorite, the bet on the spread technically favors the Suns either winning or losing by less than five points. The spread bet is usually an equal -110 for both teams but oddsmakers have changed this, likely due to the number of bets they saw coming in for a single team. In this instance, to win $100, you have to place $115 on the Suns, while you would only have to bet $105 to win $100 on the Bucks. This in turn means that Las Vegas is attempting to get more bets on the spread for the Bucks.
Game 6 sees the largest spread of the Finals so far, following what was the tightest spread of the series in Game 5. This is the Bucks’ highest favoring since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a game where they lost to the Hawks by 22 points. In fact, Milwaukee is just 26-29-1 against the spread this season as at least a five-point favorite. Milwaukee is 13-9 in the playoffs against the spread and 45-48-1 this season against the spread.
The Suns’ three-game losing streak against the Bucks have all been losses against the spread, dropping Phoenix to a 13-8 ATS record this postseason. The Suns are still a respectable 55-37-1 against the spread this season and hold a decent 21-18 record against the spread when at least a 5.0-point underdog. The only time this postseason where Phoenix was more than a 5.0-point underdog was in the first round against the Lakers. The Suns were +6.5-point underdogs in Games 3 and 4 on the road of that series. Phoenix lost Game 3 by 14 points but won Game 4 by eight points.
“If you went to the beginning of the season, and said we had a chance to be where we are now, would you take it? Absolutely.” – @CP3
— Jordan Spurgeon (@spurge_) July 19, 2021
222.0 total points (-110)
Game 5 featured the lowest Over/Under mark of the series as well as a ridiculous scoring showcase totaling 232 points. After blowing out the Over/Under on Saturday night, oddsmakers have decided to make Game 6 their highest Over/Under of the series. The Suns and Bucks scored 220 total points in Game 1, 221 total points in Game 2, 220 total points in Game 3, and 212 total points in Game 4. Saturday’s Game 5 was the only game of the series to surpass 222 total points in this series.
In the regular season, this duo combined for 249 points in regulation in their first meeting and 255 in overtime in their second game. It certainly shouldn’t be an expectation for this matchup to meet either of those marks without an overtime finish in these NBA Finals.
Games 1, 2, and 5 in Phoenix hit the over. Games 3 and 4 in Milwaukee hit the under. Both Devon Booker for the Suns, and Giannis Antetokounmpo for the Bucks, have proved they can score over 40 points in any given game. Both team’s point total relies on the productivity of the rest of the roster. When both teams shoot over 50% from the field, like in Game 5, 222 total points is no problem. Both teams likely must be at the top of their offensive game to once again go beyond 222 total points, though.
Can Chris Paul meaningfully bounce back? Will Devin Booker blow up for a third 40-point night? Can Giannis soar for another massive scoring game? Which role players will make the largest impact on the game? These are all questions you’ll ask yourself when deciding the Game 6 over/under.
This A+ @Suns fan has a classroom that’s too cool for school📚✏️🎒 @IGotSunsFever is a 6th-grade teacher at Eloy Jr. High & her classroom is flooded with Suns memorabilia.https://t.co/2GmXkYCHAV via @sports360az
— Claudia Faust (@claudianfaust) July 20, 2021
Game 6 of the NBA Finals heads to Milwaukee on Tuesday, July 20. With a 3-2 series lead, the Bucks have a chance to earn their first NBA title in over 50 years. You can tune in on your local ABC channel beginning at 6:00 p.m. Arizona time.