The NBA Finals. The Phoenix Suns will host the Milwaukee Bucks for Game 2 and will be looking to take a commanding 2-0 lead before the series heads to Fiserv Forum for Game 3 and Game 4. Giannis Antetokounmpo made a surprise return for Game 1, and if he can inch closer to 100 percent, we should see a much more entertaining game.
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1. Suns -5 | -108 at DraftKings Sportsbook
The Phoenix Suns simply outplayed the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1. Chris Paul was able to dismantle the Bucks defense at will, and they won despite being outrebounded and seeing the Bucks hit more shots at a higher clip from three. One or both of Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton will likely shoot the ball better tonight, but the Bucks problems extend beyond their secondary stars. Brook Lopez has been exposed on defense and will routinely get roasted if he continues to switch onto a high IQ point guard like Chris Paul. He can patrol the paint, but his inability to switch off Ayton and battle through screens effectively makes him a liability that may cost the Bucks the series. We will likely see a similar game plan employed by the Suns until the Bucks adjust, and if Chris Paul remains in takeover mode, the Suns should cover tonight. I like -4.5 much better than -5, so considering buying the half point in exchange for higher juice.
2. Khris Middleton Over 25.5 Points | -120 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Khris Middleton took twice as many shots as Giannis in Game 1. While he will (or should) not double him in Game 2, we can easily expect another 20-25 shot attempts from the streaky shooter. Middleton is the team’s best option outside of eight feet and is the player the team has come to rely on in crunch time. He proved that he is more than someone who earned all-star accolades simply because of his team’s great regular season records this postseason and will be key to the Bucks’ success tonight.
His road splits do present some risk, however. Middleton was a .500 shooter at home during the season and a .450 shooter on the road. During the playoffs, things have taken a turn for the worse as he is shooting a paltry .430 from the field. Middleton is shooting .475 at home this postseason and an atrocious .411 on the road. Despite this, he is going to hoist up shots and be the team’s primary option down the stretch. There is some risk that Middleton has an off night, so keep this wager to one unit.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 11.5 Rebounds | -167 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Giannis managed 17 rebounds in his first game back from what some thought may be a season-ending injury. With more trust in his leg tonight, he should be able to repeat with another double-digit rebound performance against the Phoenix Suns. He had only two offensive rebounds in Game 1, which means he was not totally reliant on the Bucks missing shots in order to grab an insane amount of boards. Unfortunately, we are not the only ones in love with this player prop. The juice shot up to -144 by this afternoon and will likely continue to inch towards -150 as we approach game time. 11.5 was a generous number from Vegas given the circumstances, especially when we consider that Giannis has grabbed 12 or more boards in seven of his last nine full games. The juice is high so keep it to a one unit return.
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