July 17, 2021
The NBA Finals will resume on ABC this Saturday night with the Bucks and Suns set to square off for a pivotal fifth matchup in the Valley at nine o’clock Eastern time.
NBA Finals Popular Betting Resources
NBA Finals Game 5 Best Bets
Betting Odds - Suns vs. Bucks
Subject to Change
Despite dropping back-to-back matchups in Milwaukee to even up this series at two games apiece, the Suns return to the Valley for Game 5 as a four-point favorite over the visiting Bucks – which is a callback to the lines set for Games 1 and 2 in Phoenix (PHX -5, PHX -4.5).
The total for Saturday’s event has been lowered to OU 218 – which is the first time the total for a matchup in this series has fallen below 220 since Game 1 (O 219.5).
Bucks vs. Suns Current Form
This year’s playoffs were completely ravaged by injuries, and Milwaukee and Phoenix haven’t exactly depicted an objection 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 head-butted, and Giannis Antetokounmpo was questionable for Game 1 of this series with a hyperextended left knee.
The Suns also significantly benefited at the disposal of their opponents’ injury concerns over the course of their postseason journey – as Phoenix quickly sped past the Lakers, Nuggets, and Clippers in just 16 games (12-4), which presumably could’ve been more tedious if Anthony Davis, Jamal Murray, or Kawhi Leonard were healthy for those series.
Milwaukee’s path, on the other hand, wasn’t laid out quite as nicely, considering the Bucks were required to go through Miami, Brooklyn, and Atlanta on the way to this year’s NBA Finals – nonetheless, requiring just one more game than Phoenix to raise their respective conference banner.
After their exhausting Eastern Conference title run though, the Bucks ran into a buzzsaw in Phoenix to kick off the NBA Finals – as the Suns claimed a pair of impressive double-digit victories behind a pair of admirably cohesive shooting efforts in Games 1 and 2 of the Finals (118 PPG, 49.7% FG, 41.9% 3FG).
With the longevity of this series seemingly hanging in the balance following the events of Game 2, the Bucks and Suns traveled to Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum for their next two Finals bouts – which is a place Milwaukee has been nearly untouchable at this postseason (9-1, +133).
And lo and behold, the Bucks couldn’t be touched again in those two affairs, as Milwaukee leisurely cruised to a blowout victory at home in Game 3 (120-100) and escaped with a rather effortless come-from-behind win in Game 4 – thanks to an efficient fourth-quarter surge from the Greek Freak’s supporting cast in Wednesday’s event (Middleton 14 PTS, Connaughton 8 PTS).
Bucks vs. Suns Betting Resources
The underdog has won the first quarter in three straight games played between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. (AP)
Bucks vs. Suns Head-to-Head
The Suns picked up a pair of thrilling victories against Milwaukee during the regular season, as both non-playoff matchups between these teams were decided by a narrow one-point margin – including a one-point overtime victory in overtime to cap off their annual two-game set.
Prior results should always be taken with a grain of salt, but seven out of the last eight meetings between Milwaukee and Phoenix have gone 'over' the opening number set for Wednesday’s matchup (OU 218) – including the first three games of this series eclipsing that number at an average of 223 points per contest.
Make note though, this past Wednesday’s meeting between Milwaukee and Phoenix happens to be the lone matchup among the previously mentioned grouping that contained less than 218 points – which can mainly be attributed to these teams stumbling out of the gate on offense to start Game 4, finishing up the first quarter with a score of 23-20 (172-point pace).
(SU-Straight Up, ATS - Against the Spread, OU - Over-Under)
Milwaukee Bucks Betting Outlook
Inside the Stats (2020-2021)
If you are ever wondering how much fan presence and home court advantage factors into a team’s success throughout a playoff run – you can always look to the Bucks to find a glaring example of the overarching discrepancy among the league’s home-away split in the postseason.
The Bucks are 9-1 at home this postseason, compared to 5-6 on the road – with Milwaukee’s nine home wins in the playoffs coming by an average margin of 14.4 points, and their six road losses coming by an average of 15.3 points.
Milwaukee still has a fighting chance in this series, especially with Antetokounmpo’s health status appearing in phenomenal shape – highlighted by his electrifying chase-down block in the pivotal moments of the Bucks’ victory in Game 4.
I would refrain from backing them to complete the comeback though, considering Milwaukee must pick up a road victory in either Game 5 or 7 of this series in order to win it – and Antetokounmpo’s supporting cast just hasn’t played well enough away from their building this postseason to warrant that supporting wager.
Phoenix Suns Betting Outlook
Inside the Stats (2020-2021)
After coughing up a nine-point lead down the stretch of Game 4 in Milwaukee, Phoenix will surely return to the Valley for Saturday’s matchup with a bad taste in its mouth from its previous squanders, considering the Suns seemingly threatened to crack out the brooms early in this series by posting a pair of commanding double-digit home victories in Games 1 and 2 – only to have that lead quickly snatched away in somewhat head-scratching fashion at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum in Games 3 and 4.
Despite posting a pair of disappointing losses on the road to deadlock this series at two games apiece, the Suns (-155) head into Game 5 in Phoenix as a moderate favorite over Milwaukee (+128) to raise this year’s Larry O’Brien Trophy – while boasting an even heavier tag on the money line for Saturday’s event, respectively (-175).
While backing Phoenix to win the series at -155 requires two victories, as opposed to Saturday’s money line only requiring one (-175) – I still see slightly more value in the series prop here. The Suns coasted to wins in Games 1 and 2 at home by an average margin of 11.5 points – in my opinion, taking Phoenix -175 on the money line in Game 5 isn’t worth the juice.
If you like Phoenix to win Game 5, but not quite confident enough to lay points – my advice would be to back them to win the series at -155. It’s a slightly cheaper price tag than the money line set for Game 5 – and just in case the Suns lose Game 5 or 6, it still gives Phoenix a chance to come back and win in Game 7 without having to reevaluate your position or put down additional wagers.
Bucks vs. Suns Player Prop Best Bet
After averaging 27.5 points on 56.4% shooting in Phoenix’s dominant pair of home victories to open this series, Paul significantly cooled off during his team’s following two outings in Milwaukee – averaging just 14.5 points on 48.1% from the field across Phoenix’s ugly pair of road losses.
I’ll take CP3 to bounce back here though, as I expect Milwaukee to shift its primary focus on defense over to Booker in Game 5 – which should free things up enough for Paul to go back to work in the scoring department.
Best Bet: Chris Paul Over 21.5 points (+105)
Bucks vs. Suns Prediction
Despite dropping back-to-back matchups in Milwaukee to even up this series at two games apiece, the Suns return to the Valley for Game 5 of the NBA Finals as a four-point favorite over the visiting Bucks – which is somewhat reminiscent of the line set ahead of Phoenix’s victories in Games 1 and 2 (PHX -4.5).
I’ll lay the points with Phoenix here, as Milwaukee’s supporting cast has been far too difficult to trust on the road this postseason (5-6) – especially Middleton and Holiday.
Score Prediction: Suns 114 Bucks 105