Mike Budenholzer and the Milwaukee Bucks face Monty Williams and the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals on Tuesday. The teams match up in a best-of-seven series with the Larry O'Brien Trophy and a championship on the line. The Suns represent the Western Conference as champions, with the Bucks prevailing in the Eastern Conference bracket. Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable and could be a game-time call in Game 1 for Milwaukee.
Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists Phoenix as a six-point favorite in the latest Suns vs. Bucks odds. The over-under for total points expected to be scored is up to 219 after opening at 217.5. Before finalizing any Bucks vs. Suns picks, be sure to check out the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned almost $9,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $700 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the 2021 NBA Finals on a stunning 100-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has locked in its Suns vs. Bucks picks and predictions for the NBA Finals 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting trends for Bucks vs. Suns:
- Bucks vs. Suns spread: Suns -6
- Bucks vs. Suns over-under: 219 points
- Bucks vs. Suns money line: Suns -250, Bucks +210
- MIL: The Bucks are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
- PHX: The Suns are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Bucks can cover
Milwaukee's defense is elite by any description, and it provides a sky-high baseline for the team's overall efficiency. During the regular season, the Bucks were No. 2 in the NBA in 2-point shooting allowed (50.7 percent), top-five in field-goal percentage allowed (45.6 percent) and No. 1 in free-throw attempts allowed (18.8 per game). In the 2021 NBA Playoffs, the team's overall performance has been even better, including the No. 1 mark in overall defensive efficiency at 1.05 points allowed per possession. The Bucks are securing more than 76 percent of available rebounds on the defensive glass, and the Suns are the second-worst team in the entire NBA Playoffs in offensive rebound rate.
Milwaukee is also creating a turnover on more than 13 percent of possessions and the Bucks have the No. 1 mark in free-throw rate allowed. The Bucks are also elite in specialized situations defensively, including the No. 1 mark in points allowed in the paint (38.8 per game) and the No. 2 mark in fast-break points allowed (8.4 per game). Phoenix's offense is stellar, but Milwaukee had big-time success against prolific groups from Brooklyn and Atlanta, and this should be no different.
Why the Suns can cover
Phoenix is the healthier team and the Suns have extra time to prepare under the tutelage of Williams. All of Phoenix's star players are healthy and ready to go, with Chris Paul coming off one of the best games of his career. Paul exploded for 41 points in the clinching win over the Clippers, and he is averaging more than 18 points and eight assists per game in the playoffs. Devin Booker is the team's leading scorer, averaging 27.0 points per game in the postseason, and Deandre Ayton is a double-double threat in averaging 16.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per contest.
As a team, the Suns scored more than 1.16 points per possession in the regular season and, against high-level defenses, they've managed nearly 1.14 points per possession in the playoffs. Phoenix is one of the best passing teams in the NBA, averaging 2.13 assists for every turnover and committing a turnover on only 12.0 percent of playoff possessions. From there, the Suns are also the No. 2 team in the playoffs in both field-goal percentage (47.8 percent) and free-throw percentage (86.2 percent), and there are no weaknesses in their offensive attack.
How to make Bucks vs. Suns picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting 222 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only get this pick at SportsLine.
So who Bucks vs. Suns? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.