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NBA Finals Game 5 Betting Odds: Bucks vs. Suns on Saturday, July 17, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Preview, Odds and Picks

From “Suns in 4” to “Bucks in 6”?

Yes — the momentum for the NBA Finals has shifted and the Milwaukee Bucks are now charging into the Phoenix Arena this Saturday. A monstrous block from Giannis Antetokounmpo helped seal Milwaukee’s victory in Game 4. The Bucks, however, remain +130 underdogs to take the title according to the NBA Finals series odds.

Chris Paul and the Suns are unbothered and will take Game 5 as a chance to reassert their dominance in this series. Phoenix enters the pivotal game as -165 favorites per the BetUS online sportsbook, while Milwaukee is priced at +145 to win its third straight.
Phoenix has been nigh-unbeatable at home, but Milwaukee has all the momentum and is looking like a sturdy underdog right now.

Bucks vs. Suns NBA Finals Game 5 Odds by BetUS

Bucks+4 ( -110 )218 ( -110 )+145
Suns-4 ( -110 )218 ( -110 )-165
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Series Recap So Far

Thanks to the uncertain status of Antetokounmpo, NBA basketball odds makers graded the Bucks as moderate underdogs. But the two-time MVP played in all four games. Though Phoenix won the first two, Milwaukee has progressively grown tougher as the series has progressed.
Milwaukee disrupted Phoenix’s usually efficient offense in Games 3 and 4, forcing them to commit 31 turnovers compared to the Suns’ 21 in the first two games. Additionally, the Bucks have been getting to the charity stripe more, with 44 made free throws versus just 24 in Phoenix.
Maybe it’s the home-court advantage, but Milwaukee’s gritty comeback in the fourth quarter in Game 4 emphasizes how much heart this team has. Antetokounmpo made an all-time great block on DeAndre Ayton as Milwaukee outscored Phoenix by 12 in the fourth to even the series.

Game 5 Preview

Heading back to Phoenix, Milwaukee can build on its riveting defensive play. They can’t allow Phoenix to return to their prolific style of offense again. Despite being four-point underdogs per the NBA betting odds, Milwaukee has a great opportunity to upset Phoenix here.

Phoenix Suns’ Path To Victory

The Suns need to recapture their poise from earlier games. Game 4 saw Phoenix, namely Paul, uncharacteristically turn the ball over and make poor decisions on offense. The Suns shot just 29% and 30.4% from downtown in the last two games.

The Suns also coughed up the ball on 13.5% and 16.4% of possessions, respectively. That’s two of their three worst games. It comes as no surprise that five of their six playoff losses came when they averaged a TOV% of 13% or greater.

Paul shouldered the blame for their Game 4 loss. Don’t expect him to record two bad games in a row. The future Hall of Famer is averaging 17.1 points and 8.8 assists with just 2.1 turnovers in eight home games these playoffs.

MIlwaukee Bucks’ Path To Victory

Milwaukee has continued to excel as a dominant home team thanks to their defense. The Bucks lead the playoffs with a 100.3 defensive rating at home. But on the road, that slips to 112. If Milwaukee is planning an upset, it needs to find a way to bring that defensive intensity on the road.

Antetokounmpo has continued to play like a monster, averaging 32.3 points, 14 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. Add a combined 3.3 steals and blocks with a shooting percent of 61.3% and you have the frontrunner — at least based on the Finals MVP odds.

But Antetokounmpo can’t do it alone. He had an all-time great line in Game 2, but Milwaukee still lost. The likes of Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez need to contribute on both ends. Otherwise, Phoenix will control Game 5 like they have at home.

Pick: Who Wins?

The Suns are a different animal at home. They become a well-oiled machine that isn’t just efficient but tough as well. Credit that to Paul, who seems determined to win his first NBA championship. Expect Phoenix to methodically grind down Milwaukee as they have.
However, the Bucks showed in Game 4 that it will not go away quietly. Milwaukee has consistently been a team that has battled back as they showed in Game 4. Now that they’ve figured out how to disrupt Phoenix, they have an upper-hand and should be able to upset the Suns.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks +155

How Many Points Will The Totals Have?

The totals are set at 218 — the lowest so far in the series. Oddsmakers expect this one to be more focused on defense. There is a chance both teams shoot poorly here, especially if Milwaukee carries that defensive effort from the last two games.
However, it is also less likely that the Suns shoot as poorly as they did from Game 4. Phoenix averages a 118.1 offensive rating at home versus just 110.6 on the road. Likewise, Milwaukee’s defense tends to be less effective on the road.
Both teams average around 110 points in the series, shooting no worse than 44.6%. Even if the threes don’t fall, both have shown a propensity for finding other ways to score. Expect a high-scoring game by these totals’ standards.
Pick: Over 218 (-110)

Props: Two Players To Watch

As with every NBA game, there are players who rise to the occasion. Usually, these players sway the final results of the game. But even when they can’t, they still produce a boatload of stats — see Devin Booker in Game 4, or Antetokounmpo in Game 2.
Here are two players to keep an eye on plus their props:

Brook Lopez (MIL): the Bucks’ center is their biggest x-factor. Milwaukee is a much better team when he’s active and asserting himself in the middle. The Bucks are 7-1 when he records at least two blocks. He’ll need to do better than his four total blocks this series. Bank on him to get at it in the middle and swat (or steal) at least twice.

Pick: Brook Lopez (MIL) Total Steals+Blocks – Over 1½ Steals+Blocks (-110)

DeAndre Ayton (PHX): the counterpart to Lopez is Ayton. The Suns’ big man is aching to bounce back after scoring just six points in Game 4, his lowest these playoffs. He’s due for a bigger game here and scoring over 16 points should be a lock.

Pick: DeAndre Ayton (PHX) Total Points – Over 16½ Points (-110)