NBA Finals Game 1: Spread, Over/Under, Analysis

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A drought will come to a merciful conclusion in the month of July. The Phoenix Suns look to earn their first NBA championship while the Milwaukee Bucks eye their first title since 1971. It has been a combined 75 years since either of these teams have made the NBA Finals and they now face the final chapter of this 2021 collision course.

While both teams have been powerhouse scorers over the season, injuries and lack of championship experience raise more questions about the series than answers as we prepare for Game 1.

The Spread (as of June 6)

Milwaukee Bucks: +5.5 (-110) | Moneyline: +190

Phoenix Suns: -5.5 (-110) | Moneyline: -220

William Hill Sportsbook opened on Sunday with Phoenix as a -5.5 favorite. With continued uncertainty surrounding 2020 NBA MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Suns became a -6.0 favorite on Monday morning. Once Antetokounmpo was upgraded by the Bucks from “doubtful” to “questionable,” odds moved back to 5.5 points at 10:45 a.m. Arizona time.

The Bucks have been substandard on the road against the spread, standing at only a 19-26 record this season as the visitor. This is now the 56th times this season that Milwaukee is at least a 5.5-point underdog. In those games, the Bucks are a mere 25-29-1 against the spread. This is the largest spread Milwaukee has seen as an underdog in the playoffs but they stand at 10-7 against the spread this postseason.

Phoenix has been a friend to bettors through the season with a 53-34-1 record against the spread. The Suns covered the spread in seven of their ten games in the past two rounds of the playoffs but went 3-3 against the spread in the L.A. Clippers series. The Suns are 20-17 against the spread when favored by 5.5 points or more throughout the season and covered two of their last three games by that favoring.

According to the DraftKings Sportsbook, 58% of their Game 1 bets have been placed on the Suns.

Over/Under (Updated June 6)

219.5 total points (-110) (Previously 217.0)

With the potential lack of Greek Freaks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, oddsmakers have set a perplexing over/under at 219.5 total points. The Suns and Bucks only faced each other twice in the regular season and both matches were only decided by one point. The first game was on February 10 and combined for 249 points in regulation. The second meeting on April 19 went to overtime and combined for 255 points.

The books seem to make the assumption that Game 1 will feature a far more meticulous and defensively-oriented matchup. The Bucks average 119.5 ppg on the road this season while the Suns average 116.5 at home. While on one hand, over 217.0 is the equivalent of both teams averaging 110 points but on the other hand, these teams love to annihilate the scoreboard. The current trends say that this duo will annihilate the over/under as well.

According to the DraftKings Sportsbook, bettors also believe Game 1 will be similar to the regular season meetings. A whopping 77% of their bets have been place on the OVER in Game 1.

William Hill Cross-Sport Parlay

Suns Win NBA Championship & England Wins Euro 2020

William Hill Sportsbook has debuted an interesting parlay matching the NBA Finals and UEFA EURO Cup. While the Suns sit at -180 favorites to win the 2021 NBA Finals, William Hill is adding a parlay at +300 if the Suns win the Finals and England wins the UEFA EURO 2020 championship.

The tournament is now in the semifinals with England coming off a 4-0 shutout of Ukraine in the quarterfinals. England (-137) will face Denmark (+450) in the semifinals on July 7. These two last played on October 14, 2020, to a 1-0 victory for Denmark in the UEFA Nations League but England holds the overall record at 12-4-5 against Denmark since 1948. 

If England can defeat Denmark, they will play against the victor of Italy vs Spain on July 11, the same day as Game 3 of the NBA Finals.


Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals premieres on ABC, Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m.