July 8, 2021
The NBA Finals will resume on Thursday night with the Bucks and Suns set to square off for Game 2 in Phoenix, Arizona at nine o’clock Eastern time on ABC.
NBA Finals Popular Betting Resources
Betting Odds - Bucks vs. Hawks
Subject to Change
After posting an impressive double-digit victory in the Valley to open this series, the Suns head into Game 2 of the NBA Finals as a 5.5-point favorite over the visiting Bucks – which is roughly the same spread that Phoenix covered in Game 1 (PHX -5).
The total for Thursday’s event opened at 220.5 – but has dropped to 219.5, which is the same closing number for the series opener that finished slightly 'over' the total.
NBA Finals Game 2 Best Bets
Bucks vs. Suns Current Form
To say this year’s postseason was ravaged by various health concerns might be an outright understatement, and both Milwaukee and Phoenix are no exception to that claim – considering Chris Paul previously dealt with a shoulder issue and Covid-19, Devin Booker was forced to wear a protective mask after getting headbutted, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is still dealing with a knee issue that he picked up against Atlanta.
The Suns have also greatly benefited at the disposal of their opponents’ injury issues over the course of this postseason journey though – as Phoenix barreled through the Lakers, Nuggets, and Clippers in a quick 16 games (12-4), which assumably would have taken longer if Anthony Davis, Jamal Murray, or Kawhi Leonard were healthy for those series.
Milwaukee’s path, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as leisurely, as the Bucks were required to pass through Miami, Brooklyn, and Atlanta on the way to this year’s NBA Finals – nonetheless, only requiring one more game than Phoenix to raise their respective conference banner thanks to those pesky Nets hanging in for seven contests (12-5).
After their exhausting Eastern Conference title run though, the Bucks finally ran into a buzzsaw in Game 1 of the NBA Finals – as Phoenix gradually built a 16-point lead throughout the first three quarters of Tuesday’s series opener, which never really gave Milwaukee a chance to make things competitive down the stretch of the event.
Bucks vs. Suns Betting Resources
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks look to even up the NBA Finals at 1-1 in Thursday's Game 2. (AP)
Bucks vs Suns Head-to-Head
The Suns picked up two thrilling victories against Milwaukee during the regular season, as both non-playoff matchups between these teams were decided by a narrow one-point margin – with the second getting settled in overtime.
Regular season results should always be taken with a grain of salt, but five straight meetings between Milwaukee and Phoenix have gone 'over' the total set for Thursday’s Game 2 (OU 220.5) – with their previous four bouts containing an average of 253 points across them, and Tuesday’s Finals’ opener yielding a score of 118-105 (O 219.5).
(SU-Straight Up, ATS - Against the Spread, OU - Over-Under)
Milwaukee Bucks Betting Outlook
Inside the Stats (2020-2021)
Despite venturing down a long, bumpy road the NBA Finals, the Bucks still managed to dodge the dreaded injury bug for most of their postseason campaign – considering the only player listed on Milwaukee’s injury report heading into the conference finals was Donte DiVincenzo, who received ankle surgery over a month ago.
Milwaukee’s worst nightmare became a bleak reality in that series though, as Antetokounmpo got tangled up with Hawks' center Clint Capela on a lob attempt and suffered a knee injury in the second half of Game 4 – sidelining the former MVP for the final two matchups of the ECF, which also left his status in jeopardy for Game 1 against Phoenix.
After a quiet couple of days, Giannis stunned most and valiantly returned to Milwaukee’s lineup for Tuesday’s series opener – but he mainly served as a decoy during the event, as the Bucks’ superstar scored just 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting throughout his team’s double-digit loss in Game 1 (lowest FGA this postseason, 25+ MIN).
Phoenix Suns Betting Outlook
Inside the Stats (2020-2021)
Despite Phoenix (+250) posting just two losses on the way to this year’s Western Conference Finals, the Nets (+220) still went into Game 7 of their ECF matchup against Milwaukee (+450) slightly favored to take home the 2021 NBA title.
After their thrilling Game 7 victory over Brooklyn though, the Bucks (+110) immediately leapfrogged Phoenix (+150) as this year’s stand-alone title favorite – with the Clippers (+900) and Hawks (+1100) bringing up the rear as distant underdogs.
Shortly after that, the Suns dominated in back-to-back contests to open the Western Conference Finals – eventually landing Phoenix and Milwaukee as co-favorites to win it all at +110.
Following Antetokounmpo’s worrisome knee injury in Game 4 against Atlanta though, the Suns (-185) finally emerged as the stand-alone favorites to take home this year’s title – and after thumping Milwaukee by double-digits at home in Game 1, that price has skyrocketed all the way up to -345 ahead of Thursday’s second matchup.
Bucks vs. Suns Player Prop Best Bet
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Over 26.5 Points (-110)
After averaging 31.2 points on 25.1 field goal attempts across nine full postseason outings against the Nets and Hawks, it looked like Antetokounmpo was instructed to take things easy at the offensive end in his first game back from his latest knee injury – as the Greek Freak tallied just 20 points on 11 shot attempts during Milwaukee’s underwhelming performance in Phoenix this past Tuesday.
I’ll back Giannis to be more active on offense in Game 2 though, as the superstar still gathered 17 rebounds and put forward a solid defensive effort throughout his team’s series-opening loss – which leads me to believe a restoration to typical scoring volume is soon to follow.
Bucks vs. Suns Prediction
After posting an impressive double-digit victory in Game 1, the Suns head into Game 2 of the NBA Finals as a 5.5-point favorite over the visiting Bucks – which is roughly the same spread that Phoenix covered in Tuesday’s series opener (PHX -5).
I’ll take the points with the Bucks in Game 2 though, as I still believe Milwaukee is capable of keeping this series competitive – despite Antetokounmpo playing with a lingering knee issue.
Score Prediction: Suns 113, Bucks 111