Bucks Favored to Win NBA Title for the First Time in the Finals

Bucks emerge as -385 favorites to win NBA championship after beating Suns in Game 5
Milwaukee has come back from an 0-2 deficit to take a 3-2 series lead
Bucks are 5-point favorites over Suns in Tuesday’s Game 6

NBA betting sites now believe the Milwaukee Bucks are the most likely team to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy this summer. Following Milwaukee’s impressive 123-119 win in Game 5 of the NBA Finals over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, the Bucks are now heavy favorites to win the title for the first time.

BetOnline has the Bucks listed at -385 to win one of the last two games over Phoenix to win it all. A championship would be the first for this franchise since 1971 when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson led Milwaukee to a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Bullets. 

The Suns are now listed at +315 to come back and win it all. Phoenix has never won an NBA title, though they did enter this series as fairly heavy favorites. The Suns have looked like the most impressive team in the league for most of their playoff run, but they enter Tuesday’s Game 6 on the road having lost three straight games since jumping out to an early 2-0 series lead. 

BetOnline has listed the Bucks as five-point favorites to beat the Suns and wrap up the series at Fiserv Forum on Tuesday night. Saturday’s victory in Game 5 marked the first time in this series that a road team has won a game after home teams swept Games 1-though-4. 

Giannis Now a Heavy Favorite to Win Finals MVP

Clearly, the Suns are on the ropes. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was iffy to even play in this series after hyperextending his knee in the Eastern Conference Finals, has emerged as a sizable -400 favorite to win Finals MVP. Chris Paul has seen his odds drift to +600 after entering the series as the betting favorite. Devin Booker has the second-best MVP odds of any player at a distant +550. 

Antetokounmpo has been unstoppable since a mediocre outing in the Bucks’ Game 1 defeat. Over the past four games, the Greek Freak has averaged 35.3 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists per game. The 26-year-old put up another impressive performance in Game 5, finishing with 32 points, nine rebounds, and six assists while shooting 14-for-23 from the field. 

A slam for the ages. @Giannis_An34 pic.twitter.com/E23wMQq8EH

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 18, 2021

Milwaukee also got a massive outing out of Jrue Holiday on both ends of the floor. Holiday has struggled offensively for most of the postseason, but his defensive contributions have been invaluable. The first-year Buck put up 27 points and 13 assists while also coming up with a massive steal against Devin Booker in the game’s waning moments. Holiday’s steal and subsequent lob to Antetokounmpo on the ensuing possession will endure as one of the most iconic plays in Bucks history if Milwaukee is able to ultimately seal the deal and win the title. 

The most alarming aspect of the series for the Suns is the fact that they lost Game 5 despite playing well across the board. Phoenix shot better than 55 percent from the field, 68 percent from three-point range, and nearly 91 percent from the free-throw line. The Suns also won the turnover battle, and Milwaukee went just 9-for-17 from the charity stripe. 

Milwaukee fell behind by as many as 16 points at one point in the third quarter before turning things around. The Bucks wound up outscoring the Suns 79-53 between the second and third quarters, which may have been the difference in the game. The Bucks built a sizable fourth-quarter lead of their own before the Suns trimmed the gap in the final minutes, only to fall after Booker’s aforementioned turnover with under a minute left to play.

Familiar Territory for Bucks

The Bucks covered the spread in both Games 3 and 4 after entering as favorites. Milwaukee blew out Phoenix by 20 points in Game 3 before another come-from-behind victory in a 109-103 win in Game 4. 

The Bucks have been on the other side of a similar series of events before. In the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals, Milwaukee took an early 2-0 series lead over the Toronto Raptors before subsequently losing each of the next four games. Milwaukee will have a golden opportunity to flip the script with a win over the Suns in Game 6 on Tuesday night as the favorite to win according to top NBA betting sites.

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