Bucks - Suns betting tips for Game 6 of the NBA Finals
You know how things go in a seven-game series; when it looks like it's going in one team's direction, everyone hops on the bandwagon. When the pendulum swings the other way, you get a severe change of heart.
That's just the nature of things. All the observers had left the Milwaukee Bucks for dead as they dropped two double-digit decisions to the Phoenix Suns to open up the NBA Finals. But they got themselves together at home, and now, with a victory on the road, find themselves in a position where they can win the championship with a win at home on Tuesday night.
This contest will begin at 9:05 PM ET at the Fiserv Forum, and BetOnline customers will have the opportunity to bet hundreds of props beforehand, then wager in real-time with the "Live Betting" option.
In the 123-119 victory in Game 5, we really saw the "Big Three" of the Bucks come to the forefront. And there was balance - Giannis Antetokoumpo had 32 points, with 29 from Khris Middleton and 27 from Jrue Holiday.
Meanwhile, things have not been nearly as efficient for the Suns. It appears as if after they presented the Bucks with an unstoppable backcourt (Devin Booker and Chris Paul), Milwaukee's defensive game plan turned that upside down, and this has wound up being kind of a fascinating matchup to analyze.
We'll do just that. But first let's tell you that according to the NBA Finals betting odds that have been posted at BetOnline.ag, the Bucks are laying some points at home:
Milwaukee Bucks -5
Phoenix Suns +5
Over 222 points -110
Under 222 points -110
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We have emphasized time and again that the Bucks have a tendency to allow opponents to shoot and make a lot of three-pointers. Their policy seems to be that they are going to get that rebound if the opponent misses.
The Suns have made 40.8% of their triples in this series, which would appear to be a good sign. So you would think they just had to take more attempts from the arc.
Central to this way of doing things is Jae Crowder, who missed all five of his three-pointers in Game 1 but has made 14 of 25 in the last four games.
But while the Suns will have to get hot from downtown, without a lot of the benefit of second-chance opportunities, there is no getting around the fact that Milwaukee has the fundamental edges, especially when it comes to the idea of getting the "easy" baskets. They own the paint, more or less, and Giannis is a key to that, having shot 67.4% from two-point range, with 20 offensive rebounds. No one with the Suns can really guard him.
Take this astounding fact into account - the Bucks have a 68-36 advantage on the offensive boards. And that is not the kind of thing that is easily remedied by the Suns.
Phoenix has also committed more turnovers (60 to 47), with 18 of them from Chris Paul, and Milwaukee, which has led all teams in the playoffs in fast break points per game and percentage of possessions in transition, it's like handing them a gift.
The Bucks decided that if they could drastically alter what Paul was going to do, they could put enough in the hands of Devin Booker that the Suns would lose offensive "flow." Booker has not necessarily been cold - he's hit 47% for the series - but he's not been a dead-eye from long-range (32.4%) and his way-bloated Usage figure (43.1%) means that in too many cases, he's out there playing a game of one-on-one.
Contrast that with the balance one can find on any given night with the Bucks, who are 9-1 at home in the playoffs. And there are reserves like Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton who can challenge Phoenix from the inside and outside, respectively.
There are things to be said about Phoenix. They have been a good road team all year; before losing twice in this series they had gone 30-14 straight-up. But they have also had an Offensive Rating 19 points lower on the road in the Finals. And they will have to get hotter than they already have been from downtown, while the Bucks simply need to keep doing what they've been doing, which the Suns have been powerless to stop. We'll lay the points with the BUCKS.
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