The Milwaukee Bucks are a game away from clinching the NBA Finals at the expense of the Phoenix Suns. So, will the Bucks pull off the feat or will the Suns force a game 7 when all is said and done tonight in Milwaukee? Thus, extending the battle for the Larry O’Brien trophy for one final game.
If the NBA odds were any indication, then the Bucks would appear to be the smart bet. Bookies are tipping the Bucks as the firm 4.5-point home chalk. And the way they’ve played the last three games of this series only enforces this market outlook
Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 9:00 PM EDT – Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee
Bucks On A Roll
The Milwaukee Bucks are within a game of clinching the coveted Larry O’Brien Trophy and with a home game on the cards tonight, they’re set up advantageously to get the job done in front of their adoring fans at the Fiserv Forum. One could say, it’s theirs to lose now too.
Winning game 5 was the crucial step that propelled the Bucks into this position, but they’ve been on a roll since game 3 of the series. The start of their three-game winning streak to come from behind and take a 3-2 stranglehold on the series. All three wins included covering the point spread at the same time, improving Milwaukee’s betting trends against the spread overall to 45-49-0 and a 5.7 winning margin. At home the Bucks are 25-21-0 with an 8.9 winning margin on average.
It was a narrow game 5 victory for Milwaukee but a crucial win nevertheless. The Bucks edged the Suns 123-119 to come through with the road upset as the +4 closing underdogs across multiple sports betting sites. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 32 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists while Khris Middleton put up 29 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
The contributions came from everywhere, including Jrue Holiday who’s struggled somewhat on the offensive side of the ball during this series. In game 5 though he was his best self, adding 27 points, 4 rebounds and 13 assists to his team’s victorious lap in Arizona. As well. Pat Connaughton, Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis added 32 points combined.
“When we’re all playing well,” Middleton said in his postgame presser, “we’re one of the best teams.”
“One more to go,’’ Antetokounmpo said before giving fans cause to worry as he stepped away from the postgame podium to get treated for cramping. By all accounts, Antetokounmpo is fit and fighting ready for tonight’s key game.
Suns Must-Win Game
The Phoenix Suns are fighting for their season tonight, faced with elimination for the first time in the playoffs. The NBA odds are stacked against them somewhat, but they’ve been one of the best teams in the league this season on the road. Overall, the Suns are 65-28-0 SU and 55-37-1 ATS with a 5.6 winning margin on average. On the road, they’re 30-16-0 SU and 25-20-1 ATS with a 2.5 winning margin on average.
The Suns started brightly in game 5, but things got away from them quickly after a strong first quarter. The Bucks took over in the second and third quarter before the Suns rallied in a thrilling fourth quarter that very nearly went their way as they came within a point in the final minute. Devin Booker was stopped on a drive by Holiday as he ripped the ball from him. Instead of letting the clock rundown, Holiday chucked an alley-oop pass to Antetokounmpo for an emphatic slam and foul with 20 seconds left on the clock.
“I was just trying to score the ball, he was behind me,’’ Booker said about Holiday’s crucial late-game steal. “I turned and he was right there.’’
It was a difficult loss to take at home as they’d come so close in the end after rallying back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and getting within one point, at 120-119, on a Chris Paul layup with 56.6 seconds remaining. Booker had a monster game with 40 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists while Paul added 21 points, 2 rebounds and 11 assists. Deandre Ayton had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 1 assist while Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges combined for 23 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds.
“We knew this wasn’t going to be easy,’’ Paul said. “We’ve got to regroup, learn from this game. We’ve got to win a game in Milwaukee.’’
NBA Predictions and Picks
The Milwaukee Bucks are on the cusp of winning their first NBA Finals since the 1970s, but the Phoenix Suns are not going to roll over. Indeed, this should be a rollicking affair at the Fiserv Forum tonight with both teams making a fist of this game. As such, it really could go either way in the betting.
All told, the Bucks are in pole position to win tonight and they might be worth a small flutter even if the odds are 2-to-1 or thereabouts depending on the choice top sportsbook. At the same time, the point spread in this final series has been a moot point as the winning team has covered each and every game. Thus, if this betting trends holds, tickling the Bucks as the 4.5-point home chalk as well could be worth it too.
NBA Picks: Milwaukee Bucks at -195 to win and at -4.5 (-110) to cover with DraftKings.