Suns Underdogs on the Road: Spread, Over/Under, Analysis

(AP Photo/Matt York)

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.

The Spread

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.

Over/Under

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.

 

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.

Arizona native, Devon Henry, joined the Sports360AZ crew in 2018 after graduating from Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Devon has avidly partaken in coverage of the Arizona high school sports scene since 2013 and has covered NASCAR and INDYCAR at Phoenix Raceway since 2017. Devon is also a play-by-play announcer, calling over a dozen different sports and hundreds of events.