Dave Carney 7/9/2021
What’s on the table today?: NBA Finals Game 3: Betting Preview
Well, the Milwaukee Bucks have backed themselves into a corner once again, down 0-2 to the Suns, much like they were against the Nets in the 2nd round.
This series is much different however, and the Suns, if they don’t lose Chris Paul to a devastating injury, are not nearly as thin throughout the lineup as the Nets were. Outside of the Nets “Big 3” there really wasn’t much there. The Suns however are showing just how deep they are in games 1 and 2 with big time performances from the likes of Mikal Bridgers, Cam Johnson and Cameron Payne. Even losing Dario Saric after Game 1 to a torn ACL, this Suns team has weapons.
One of the weapons that hurt the Bucks in Game 2’s 118-108 loss was Torrey Craig. If you recall Bucks fans, Craig was a member of this Milwaukee team until the trade deadline when the Bucks shipped him to Phoenix for “cash considerations”. In Game 2 Craig came off the bench and in 8 minutes had 6 points on 2 big threes that helped bury the Bucks.
Game 3 will see this series go back to Milwaukee where the Bucks have been a great playoff team this year, losing only once, to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. This is good news for the Bucks, however, the odds-makers aren’t necessarily thinking this will be too much of an impact as the Bucks are only favored by 3.5 points (-3.5) in early lines. The total is hovering around 222 to 222 ½ in certain spots and I can see this continue to adjust a couple of points up or down in the days leading up to the game.
Judging by recent trends the Suns covering the spread, and the total going over are looking like solid plays when you consider this:
- Suns are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Suns are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog.
- Suns are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a road underdog.
- Over is 4-0 in Suns last 4 overall
- Over is 4-0 in Bucks last 4 overall.
On Thursday the “Jon Denton Special” along with my play went 4-4, taking the OVER 219 ½ game total, Giannis OVER 26.5 points (he had 42), PJ Tucker OVER 4.5 points (Tucker finished with 7), and the OVER first quarter total of 54 (the 1st quarter total was 55 with the Bucks leading after one 29-26).
My gut feeling right now however is to take the Bucks to cover and win outright, the game total going OVER, and the first half play (Mil -3) as well. If the Bucks have ANY thoughts, hopes, or chances of winning this series it all comes down to Game 3. It goes without saying that being in a 3-0 hole isn’t a good thing, and absolutely zero NBA teams have come back to win a series after being down 3-0.
Giannis was a superstar, Middleton and Holiday were not. Portis was a non-factor, and Mike Budenholzer got out-coached. Those are some pretty big hurdles to jump over, but I think this Bucks team will come out in Game 3 gunning, and get at least one win in a series that makes them look seriously over matched.
**For more info on TOTAL plays, OVER/UNDER, and PLUS/MINUS plays, TEASER cards and more, check back through some previous columns for detailed information**
REMEMBER – don’t bet based upon my recommendations. Do your research. Stay in your lane