The Phoenix Suns opened up their first NBA Finals in nearly 30 years with style on Tuesday. Even with Giannis Antetokounmpo joining the lineup at the last minute, the Suns wound up defeating the Milwaukee Bucks, 118-105, to get within three wins of an NBA Championship. Now, Phoenix will try to take the 2-0 series lead with Game 2 scheduled for Thursday at 9:00 p.m. EST.
Here’s a look at BetOnline’s odds heading into tonight’s NBA action.
NBA Finals Odds: Milwaukee Bucks vs Phoenix Suns Game 2
Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, July 8
- Series: PHX leads 1-0
- Time: 9:00 p.m. EST
- Moneyline: Bucks (+185) vs Suns (-215)
- Point Spread: Bucks: +5.5 (-110), Suns: -5.5 (-110)
- Total: 219.5 — Over (-110), Under (-110)
Bucks Remain Underdogs
Once again, the Bucks will be the underdogs (+185) as they head into Game 2 of the NBA Finals tonight. Despite losing Game 1, there were some things that Milwaukee’s players did right in the opening contest. For starters, while Antetokounmpo clearly wasn’t 100%, Khris Middleton stepped up and dropped a team-leading 29 points. As the Bucks’ second-best player, they need him to bring that energy every night and not disappear every now and then. Even as a team, Milwaukee played some good perimeter defense against Phoenix, holding the Suns to a .324 3-point shooting percentage.
On the other hand, there’s a lot that the Bucks have to be better at in Game 2. The first thing is that they need to come out stronger to start the game. Milwaukee was down 92-76 after the first three quarters, which isn’t exactly the recipe for success. Another thing is that the Bucks go-to scoring area is anywhere close to the basket. However, they converted on just 54.2% (13/24) of their shots taken within less than five feet of the basket. While no shot is guaranteed, it doesn’t get any easier than ones taken that close. In other words, the Bucks need to convert on those shots if they don’t want to fall behind in this NBA Finals series.
Suns Looking to Take Control
Even though Chris Paul has never been to the NBA Finals before this year, you wouldn’t have guessed that from the performance he had in Game 1. The 10-time All-NBA point guard finished his finals appearance with a game-high 32 points while adding 9 assists. Paul wasn’t alone, though. Devin Booker had 27 of his own points, however, he certainly could’ve had more points had he shot better than 1-for-8 from the 3-point line. Even Deandre Ayton had a dominant performance, finishing with 22 points and 19 rebounds. It’s safe to say that the Suns will be tough to stop if their ‘Big 3’ continues playing as they did in Game 1.
However, just because they won Game 1 doesn’t mean there’s nothing to improve upon. As mentioned earlier, the team struggled from the 3-point line due to underwhelming shooting performances by guys like Booker and Jae Crowder (0-for-5 from 3). The Suns also need to continue forcing the Bucks to turn over the ball. Milwaukee had 13 turnovers in Game 1, which led to Phoenix scoring 16 points. Capitalizing on those mistakes again will go a long way in extending their series lead. Aside from that, the Suns just need to keep playing their brand of defensive basketball while taking smart shots. They’re in control now and it’s the Bucks who need to find a way to solve them — not the other way around.