Saturday features Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks, and the importance of this game cannot be understated. The series is tied at two games apiece, and the team that wins Game 5 of a tied series has historically won the finals at greater than a 72% clip.
DraftKings Sportsbook is loaded with wagers for tonight’s contest, so let’s break down some of my favorites.
Bucks +3.5 (-105)
The sharps and squares appear to be aligned on the Suns this evening. Phoenix has received 76% of the spread bets and 77% of the spread dollars, so the vast majority of the action is on the home team. The home team has won each game in this series, so that does make some sense.
Still, my love for the Bucks remains undeterred. They came out and won Game 3 in convincing fashion, but their win in Game 4 was arguably more impressive. They were able to survive an incredible performance from Devin Booker, who finished with 42 points on 60.7% shooting, and they did it despite getting virtually nothing on offense from Jrue Holiday. Holiday finished a dreadful 4-of-20 from the field, so I’m expecting some positive regression in Game 5. He shot 57.1% from the field in Game 3, so he can clearly provide better production on Saturday.
The biggest question mark in this series at the moment is Chris Paul. Not only did he struggle mightily in Game 4, finishing with just 10 points and five turnovers, but the way he looked was seriously concerning. It would not be surprising if he’s injured, and the Bucks have given him zero breathing room since Game 2. Holiday has been picking him up full court since then, which has clearly taken a toll. If he’s not able to bounce back in Game 5, the Suns are probably done for.
Bucks to win the series in six games (+300)
I like the odds that we’re getting with this wager. The Bucks are roughly +145 on the moneyline in Game 5, and if they win tonight’s game, they will undoubtedly be significant favorites in Game 6. They were favored by approximately five points in each of their first two home games in this series, and they would likely be larger favorites if they can win again on Saturday. Mathematically speaking, I think that makes +300 a pretty nice number.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton to each score at least 30 points (+380)
I obviously think the Bucks can win this game, but Giannis and Middleton will need to play well for that to happen. With that in mind, I’m taking a look at this player special prop.
Getting 30-plus from Giannis should be the easy part. He did finish with just 26 points in his last game, but that stands out as a major outlier. He scored at least 41 points in each of the two previous games, and he’s scored at least 30 points in 10 of his past 15 games. Two of the games that he didn’t achieve that feat were the game where he got injured and a game where the Bucks lost by 39 points, so he’s been extremely reliable as a scorer.
Middleton is the bigger question mark. Game 4 was the only time he’s gone over 30 points in this series, but he did finish with 29 in Game 1. Still, I think Middleton is going to be asked to carry a larger burden for the rest of the series. Holiday is expending a ton of effort on the defensive end, and Giannis is still limited in terms of scoring late in games. Middleton is their closer, and I’m expecting another big performance from him on Saturday.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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