Updated July 11, 9:45 a.m.
Off to the Dairy State for Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Suns are the closest they have ever been to an NBA Championship with a 2-0 lead. Teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in the Finals are 31-4 all-time in taking home the title.
If the Bucks want a chance to win their second NBA title, Sunday night’s game is a must-win. Between the MLB, NHL, and NBA, only once has a team overcome a 3-0 deficit in the championship series: the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1942 Stanley Cup. Giannis Antetokounmpo sported an incredible effort in Game 2 for the Bucks but they couldn’t keep up with the Suns shooting 20 for 24 from three-point land.
— Jordan Spurgeon (@spurge_) July 10, 2021
Phoenix Suns: +4.5 (-110) | Moneyline: +170
Milwaukee Bucks: -4.5 (-110) | Moneyline: -190
Even after a pair of fantastic performances in the opening games of the NBA Finals for the Suns, oddsmakers think homecourt will play a crucial role in this series. While two-time MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was available after an injury in the Eastern Conference Finals, Phoenix was still never less than a 4.5-point favorite at most sportsbooks in the first two games.
The Bucks were favored by more than 4.0 points in every game of the Eastern Conference Finals besides Game 6, which they would clinch the series with anyway. Milwaukee is still just 32-34-1 against the spread when favored by at least 3.5 points even with those ECF victories. The Bucks lost Games 1 and 2 by an average of 11.5 points but hope to swing momentum in their first home game of the Finals. Milwaukee is 10-9 in the playoffs against the spread. Only four teams have won the NBA Finals after falling 0-2 in the series, most recently the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
A miraculous performance beyond the arc from Phoenix in Game 2 has elevated the Suns to a 2-0 lead in The Finals. Phoenix is now 13-5 against the spread in the postseason and covered the spread in four of their last five games. The Suns have only been larger underdogs on two occasions this postseason; as +6.5-point underdogs in Game 3 and Game 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. Phoenix did not cover in Game 3 but won Game 4. Phoenix is now 55-34-1 against the spread over the course of the season and is 32-21 when at least a 3.5-point underdog.
Yea Phoenix is a #Suns town, in case you didn't know 🏀
Full interviews w/ him and others will be added to this thread #RallyTheValley
— Jordan Spurgeon (@spurge_) July 9, 2021
221.5 total points (-110)
The sportsbooks are finally making bettors think twice about putting money on the OVER in these NBA Finals games. The Suns and Bucks scored 220 total points in Game 1 and 221 total points in Game 2. While they hit the OVER in both games, their totals are now just shy of the Over/Under for Game 3.
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.
National media implores it is imperative for the Bucks to make meaningful adjustments to put a stop to the Suns’ blistering offense. If they can stunt the high-powered Phoenix offense, the likelihood for 222 total points is low. But if the Suns can continue their offensive dominance and a few Bucks players step up, 222 is still obtainable.
— Jordan Hamm (@JordyHamm) July 9, 2021
Game 3 of the NBA Finals heads to Milwaukee on Sunday, July 11. You can tune in on your local ABC channel beginning at 5:00 p.m. Arizona time.