NBA Parlay Pick: Bucks vs. Suns (Game 2, July 8th 2021)

The Milwaukee Bucks (0-1) look to even the NBA Finals Thursday before the series heads back to the “Cream City” when they meet the Phoenix Suns (1-0) at their self-titled arena.

The Suns outclassed the Bucks in Game 1 of the Finals, 118-105, even though Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to return from the knee injury that kept him out of the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Phoenix “point god” Chris Paul was sensational in his first career NBA Finals game, scoring 32 points on 63.2% shooting with (4-of-7 from 3-point land), four rebounds, and nine assists with just two turnovers.

It’s the NBA Finals, so obviously, the court is littered with ballers who are capable of swinging the game in one direction or the other. A “Same Game Parlay” allows gamblers to build a fun and profitable parlay that includes sides, totals, player props, etc.

Take a look at this winning Same Game Parlay for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Phoenix Suns to win (-220)

The most important factor is Giannis’s health and effectiveness because he averaged 40.0 points per game in both regular-season Bucks-Suns games, and if he’s less than stellar, I’m not sure Milwaukee can cover the spread, let alone win outright in Phoenix.

The Suns have the fourth-best home winning percentage in the regular season and playoffs combined (34-11 record in Phoenix) with the second-best average scoring margin and the best cover rate.

Furthermore, the Suns have won all three meetings against the Bucks this season (including the regular season), and they cruised past Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Finals despite the Bucks shooting 44.4% from three and out-rebounding Phoenix.

And until we see Giannis back to his dominant self, then I have no problem adding the Suns (-220) to win outright as a leg into my same game parlay.

Suns C Deandre Ayton OVER 12.5 rebounds (-114)

Phoenix’s third-year big continued his ascension as one of the pillars of the Suns’ future core with a stat line of 22 points and 19 rebounds in Game 1 of the Finals.

Ayton has dominated the paint throughout the playoffs, grabbing the third-most rebounds per game (12.2), and the pace at which the Bucks-Suns games have been played this season gives me hope he’ll have another big rebounding night in Game 2.

The Suns, a typically slow tempo team, has sped up its pace that ranked 26th at 97.2 possessions per 48 minutes during the regular season up to 98.9 possession per 48 minutes in Game 1. Simply put, the faster the pace, the more opportunity for rebounds.

Another factor in Ayton’s rebounding prop is the typical “hack-a-Giannis” strategy that Milwaukee opponents use when it’s a close game late or Giannis gets deep into the paint and prevents him from getting an easy dunk.

This helps our Over on the Ayton rebounding prop in two ways: Giannis, Milwaukee’s best rebounder, is not on the block, and he’s a bad free-throw shooter, so Ayton can grab cheap boards.

Finally, I take comfort in that the Over on Ayton’s rebounding prop has the higher vig since the player prop market is generally sharper than the sides or total markets so if the Over is more expensive, it typically means the sportsbooks have more liability on the over and want to goad bettors into taking the Under.

Suns SG Devin Booker UNDER 2.5 made 3-pointers (-146)

Even though Booker has participated in All-Star Weekend’s 3-Point Contest several years and even won the 2018 3-Point Contest, he specializes in the mid-range, and his game is more reminiscent of a Kobe Bryant more so than a Klay Thompson.

Also, Milwaukee’s mid-range defense is relatively soft as the Bucks rank 27th in defensive mid-range field goal volume and 20th in defensive mid-range field goal percentage (according to CleaningTheGlass.com). This sets up nicely for Booker to stick to his preference of operating in the mid-range.

Moreover, Booker shot his second-lowest 3-point percentage of his career this season (34.0%), is shooting even worse from three in these playoffs (32.7%), and has made three or more 3-pointers in just five of his 17 games this postseason.

Lastly, one of Booker’s best features on offense is his ability to get to the free-throw line, which is a big reason for Phoenix’s Game 1 victory. I’d anticipate Booker being as aggressive in Game 2 and the Suns looking to stretch the floor for Booker with their quality 3-point shooting forwards.

Final parlay odds: +333 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

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