Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks host the Phoenix Suns in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- Game 4 of the NBA Finals goes Wednesday (July 14th) at 9pm ET at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee
- The Bucks trail the best-of-seven series 2-1 after crucial Game 3 win Sunday
- Read below for opening odds analysis and a prediction on which way the line will move leading up to tip-off
Don’t look now, but we have an NBA Finals series.
This after the Milwaukee Bucks routed the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of their best-of-7 series, cutting the lead to 2-1, with the ultra-important Game 4 on tap Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum. Tip-off goes at 9pm ET.
Suns vs Bucks Opening Odds – Game 4
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at FanDuel||Total|
|Phoenix Suns||+4 (-110)||+148||Ov 220.5 (-110)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-4 (-110)||-176||Un 220.5 (-110)|
Odds as of July 11th.
The Bucks opened as 4-point home favorites in Game 4, a contest that features a total of 220.5.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a beast in the 120-100 clubbing in Game 3, etching his name into NBA Finals lore with another marquee performance to get the Bucks back into it.
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Fear the Freak
After a Game 2 loss where he posted 42 points and 14 boards, Antetokounmpo hit a little earlier but maintained his high level of play, dropping another 40-bomb, finishing with 41 points and 13 rebounds. He was also stellar from the stripe, draining 13-of-17 free throws.
GIANNIS NEVER GAVE UP 😤 pic.twitter.com/Rz4zTN6iA1
— ESPN (@espn) July 12, 2021
Giannis was key in the final nine minutes of the second quarter, when Milwaukee outscored the Suns 30-9, to build their first double-digit lead of the series, carrying a 15-point lead into the half.
Antetokounmpo became just the third player in NBA Finals history to post back-to-back 40-point, 10-rebound games. Shaq and LeBron are the only others to reach that hefty feat.
GIANNIS’ ridiculous numbers in the Finals!
G1: 20 PTS, 17 REB, 4 AST, 55% FG
G2: 42 PTS, 12 REB, 3 BLK, 68% FG
G3: 41 PTS, 13 REB, 6 AST, 61% FG pic.twitter.com/kd4a2AaROy
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) July 12, 2021
Perhas the most encouraging news was that Milwaukee’s co-stars found their footing. Jrue Holiday easily had his best game of the series, putting up 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting, including 5-for-10 from deep. He also added nine dimes.
This Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis sequence 😨
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 12, 2021
Khris Middleton also got going, as the Bucks put the ball in his hands and into actions featuring Giannis — a wrinkle that many had been waiting for. Middleton had 18 points, seven boards and six assists on an efficient 6-for-14 shooting.
Suns Dimmed in Game 3
This might have been the worst game Phoenix has put together the entire playoffs. Save for a thrid-quarter run that helped them cut a 15-point lead down to four, they were dominated in every facet of the game.
CAM JOHNSON DUNKS ON PJ TUCKER 🤯
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 12, 2021
After drilling 20 3-balls in a Game 2 win, Phoenix could only muster a 9-for-31 effort (29%) in Game 3. They were a minus-15 in that category. They were again dominated in paint scoring (54-40), as well as second-chance points (20-2) and fastbreak scoring (16-2).
Devin Booker said he thought he could have got better looks tonight and he will in the coming games. Said he’s more frustrated by a loss than his own poor shooting performance.
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) July 12, 2021
It’s also worth noting that Devin Booker sat for almost the entirety of the fourth quarter. While he isn’t injured, he was also pulled late in Game 2, and perhaps the grind of the playoffs has started to wear on the young star. He’s averaged close to 41 minutes a game heading into Game 3.
Book was just 3-for-14 from the floor for 10 points and six rebounds in just over 29 minutes of work. Backcourt mate Chris Paul led the team with 19 points and nine dimes.
YOU AREN’T TAKING OUR SUNSHINE AWAYYYY 🎶 pic.twitter.com/zSO9Dz0nqY
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 12, 2021
The Bucks were also able to chase Deandre Ayton to the bench with foul trouble – the first time we’ve seen that hapen in this series. The young big was cooking again early, going 6-for-7 in the first quater before fouls caught up to him. Ayton still finished with 18 points and nine boards.
How Will the Line Move?
The Bucks’ slight in-game adjustments — like using Giannis more in pick-and-rolls as the roll man, and seeking him out in the post for mismatches — made their offense look so much smoother. But it’s anyone’s guess if they stick to that plan. Their inconsistency doesn’t warrant that 4-point spread.
What I love in this play:
Giannis decides not to isolate. Goes to a pick and roll instead. Better quality look. pic.twitter.com/mK2rdnyJCk
— Let’s talk NBA (@NBArath23) July 12, 2021
This is a prime opportunity to jump at this spread if you’re backing the Suns. I expect it to shorten by at least a half point by the time we get to tip-off. Phoenix is still the best team left standing, featuring the top two closers in Paul and Booker.
The Suns have not lost back-to-back games in the playoffs since Games 2 and 3 to the Los Angeles Lakers in Round 1.
Oddsmakers should be anticipating their crispest performance of these playoffs in Game 4, and the line will reflect that.
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgeable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.