Bucks Now Favored to Win 2021 NBA Championship After Game 5 Win


Khris Middleton holding ball at top of key

Khris Middleton and the Milwaukee Bucks look to close out the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

  • The Milwaukee Bucks are overwhelming favorites to win the NBA championship after Game 5
  • Game 6 goes Tuesday night in Milwaukee and the Bucks can clinch their first crown since 1971
  • A look at the title odds for both teams can be found below along with wagering advice

The Milwaukee Bucks are one win away from the second NBA championship in franchise history and their first in 50 years.

Not surprisingly, the Bucks are now big favorites to bring home the title that has eluded them since 1971 after taking a 3-2 lead over the Phoenix Suns in the best-of-seven Finals.

2021 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds
Milwaukee Bucks -370
Phoenix Suns +310

Odds as of July 18th at FanDuel.

Milwaukee notched its third straight win in the series Saturday night, a 123-119 victory in Game 5 at Phoenix Suns Arena.

Game 6 is set for Tuesday night at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, where the Bucks can win the title in front of the home fans. If a Game 7 is necessary, it would be played Thursday night in Phoenix.

Bucks’ Big Three Shines in Game 5

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists to lead the Bucks in Game 5 as the road team won for the first time in the series. Khris Middleton added 29 points and Jrue Holiday had 27 points and 13 assists.

The Bucks fell behind by 16 points in the first quarter. However, they made 32-of-45 field goal attempts β€” a smoking 71.1% β€” over the middle two quarters, outscoring the Suns 79-53 in that span to move in front 100-90.

The Suns’ Devin Booker had 40 points, his second straight 40-point game. However, he also committed a key turnover in the game’s closing moments.

With the Suns down by one point and rallying with 16 seconds left, Booker drove into the middle, but Holiday took the ball out of his hands.

Antetokounmpo sprinted down the court and Holiday fired a perfect lob pass. Antetokounmpo slammed it down while Chris Paul fouled him to make it 122-119.

He missed the free throw, but the Bucks grabbed the rebound and Middleton made one foul shot to seal the victory.

Paul had 21 points and 11 assists for the Suns. Deandre Ayton finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

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History Lesson

The Bucks have already rallied from being down 2-0 to win one series in these playoffs. They did it against the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

However, only four teams have ever overcome a 2-0 deficit to win The Finals.The Bucks are in position to become the fifth as they head back home.

The Bucks won both games in Milwaukee by a combined 26 points, rolling to a 120-100 victory in Game 3, then rallying for a 109-103 win in Game 4. They covered in each game as 4.5-point favorites.

Antetokounmpo had a monster effort in Game 3 to get the Bucks back in the series as he finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. He helped Milwaukee to a 47-36 rebounding advantage.

Holiday added 21 points and nine assists in a winning effort while Middleton had 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

The Suns, who shot just 29% from three-point range on 9-of-31, was topped by Paul’s 19 points and nine assists. Jae Crowder and Ayton scored 18 points each, but Booker managed just 10.

Middleton took over the starring role in Game 4 with a 40-point effort.

Booker bounced back from his subpar Game 3 performance by going for 42 points Crowder chipped in with 15.

The Suns shot 51.3% (40-for-78) but were hurt by 17 turnovers. The Bucks turned it over just five times.

Bucks Favorites in Game 6

The Bucks have opened as a 4.5-point favorites for Game 6.

Milwaukee is 7-3 against the spread at home during the playoffs. In the regular season, the Bucks were 18-18 at Fiserv Forum.

Prior to the two ATS losses in Milwaukee, the Suns had been the winning side in six of eight road games in the postseason. Phoenix was 19-16-1 away from home in the regular season.

If the series goes to a Game 7, the Suns would almost certainly be favored again.

However, the Bucks have all the momentum in these Finals and have played well at home in this series. As talented as the Suns are, it’s hard to imagine this series gong back to the desert.

Thus, the Bucks look to be the play to win the championship, even at short odds.

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John Perrotto

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