The Phoenix Suns opened up the 2021 NBA Finals with a pretty easy home win over the Milwaukee Bucks. It appeared we’d get the series we were promised when the Bucks got Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) back from injury after missing the final two games of the East Finals. His return didn’t impact things much with the Suns covering the spread with ease in Game 1 on Tuesday night, a 118-105 victory. We’ll see if that trend continues into Game 2 on Thursday. Let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Suns vs. Bucks Game 2 odds, 9 p.m. ET ABC
Spread: Suns -4.5 (-112)
Moneyline: MIL +155, PHX -195
Update, 6:45 p.m. ET — DKSB has provided some betting splits for Game 2 as of this evening. We’ve got 62 percent of the bets on the Suns on the spread at 4.5 points. We saw the number drop down and it seems the public jumped on Phoenix. At 220.5 points, a large majority (70 percent) of the public is backing the under. The moneyline bets are coming in on the Suns at -195 at at 65 percent clip.
Update, 4:30 p.m. ET — So we’ve got some movement on the lines for Game 2. The spread is down a point, trending toward the Bucks. This was sort of my thinking initially with this spread and I was surprised it didn’t move for Game 1 with Giannis ruled in. It’s borderline must-win territory for the Bucks. The ML has moved from +195 to +155 for MIL. We’ll see what things look like before tip-off later. Chances are it trends toward the Bucks until the line is too good to pass up for Phoenix.
There’s no real reason to believe Game 2 will be much different than Game 1 unless you believe in narrative. This is sort of the Bucks’ season on the line. If Milwaukee drops both of the first two games to trail 2-0 heading home, it will be difficult to come back in the series. It isn’t impossible, but very difficult. So with the sense of urgency, my gut is telling me to back the Bucks getting points on the road (at the very least).
Does this mean we bet on the Bucks on the ML? I thought both the spread and ML were good for Milwaukee in Game 1 and Giannis came out flat and wasn’t aggressive at all. He appeared to be fine, so it doesn’t seem injury related, which is more concerning. Khris Middleton had a decent second half, though Jrue Holiday didn’t do enough on both ends. Those three will all need to step up on both ends in Game 2, which I think happens in such a crucial spot.
There’s some reason to believe the Suns may regress a bit in Game 2. They went 25-of-26 from the free throw line in Game 1, and that was basically the difference in the contest. Chris Paul barely missed mid-range jumpers, so Holiday needs to be better on him. Devin Booker was off, which was overlooked a bit because of how well CP3 did and the Suns ability to get to the line. Deandre Ayton was solid and the Suns were able to shake off a goose egg from veteran Jae Crowder.
As for the O/U, the over hit in Game 1 with the total at 223 while the line hovered around 217-219.5. Chances are there’s a better response on defense from the Bucks, so this feels like a good spot to hit the under, which is up to 220.5. We’ll need to monitor the status of Giannis. If he’s a surprise question mark and is ruled out, expect the Suns to have similar success on offense in Game 2.
I’m still going to lean on Milwaukee in Game 2 because I can’t see the Bucks just getting dominated again. They weren’t far off in the opener and it was pretty close until CP3 got hot and the Bucks fell behind. There was one point in the fourth where the Bucks almost made it a game but couldn’t get a stop and couldn’t get a timely bucket. If those things change, it should be close in Game 2. The spread is the safer play, of course. There also isn’t much appeal in the ML bet for the Suns at -225. So really it feels like betting in-game will give us the best possible line.
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