Giannis Antetokounmpo is fresh off a 42 point, 12 rebound performance in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks play Game 3 of the 2021 NBA Finals on Sunday, July 11th
- Phoenix has a 2-0 series lead as the teams head to Milwaukee
- Read below for the latest Game 3 odds, injury news and betting prediction
Leading the series 2-0, the Phoenix Suns head to Milwaukee for Game 3 of the NBA Finals. The Bucks are favored by 4-points ahead of the meeting at Fiserv Forum. Milwaukee is in must-win territory here, but this is a position they are familiar with after a turbulent postseason run.
Phoenix has a free swing for Game 3. Taking either of the two in Milwaukee will give them the chance to seal the title back in Phoenix in Game 5. Their performances early in this series have only reinforced their status as favorites, but they are facing some health issues which are an important factor for bettors to take into account.
Suns vs Bucks Game 3 Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at FanDuel||Total|
|Phoenix Suns||+4 (-104)||+152||Over 221.5 (-110)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-4 (-114)||-180||Under 221.5 (-110)|
Odds as of July 10th.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) has been able to play a full role in the series, including an historic Game 2 showing. While Mike Budenholzer was clearly cautious with his minutes in the series opener, the two-time MVP reached the 40-mark in Game 2. With the importance of Game 3, we can expect to see the Greek Freak in the mid-40s.
Budenholzer’s rotation continues to shorten. Bobby Portis and Bryn Forbes barely played in Game 2. Pat Connaughton has become the most-used man off the bench, while Jeff Teague has got some surprise minutes. The absence of Donte DiVincenzo (foot) for the rest of the season has tested the Bucks’ depth.
The Suns have superior depth, but it has been pushed recently. Dario Saric (ACL) is out for the year. Torrey Craig has no structural damage in his knee, and is day-to-day as a result. Phoenix’s starting five is in tact, but Monty Williams has been forced into some tricky decisions, particularly when Deandre Ayton sits.
Suns vs Bucks Projected Lineups
|Chris Paul||PG||Jrue Holiday|
|Devin Booker||SG||Khris Middleton|
|Mikal Bridges||SF||Giannis Antetokounmpo|
|Jae Crowder||PF||P.J. Tucker|
|Deandre Ayton||C||Brook Lopez|
Jrue Holiday has had a rough postseason on the offensive end. He’s 33-for-114 from three-point range. While the assist numbers have remained healthy, his presence as a scorer has been very up and down. Milwaukee needs better from the former Pelican.
The mix of poor perimeter shooting and missing easy shots at the basket has made Holiday a frustrating player to watch. The shots are generally of decent quality, but Holiday has been unable to consistently produce for the Bucks. Where the Suns have other players to pick up the slack when their stars struggle, Milwaukee does not have enough around Antetokounmpo if Holiday and Khris Middleton are missing good shots.
This leads into the Suns’ greatest advantage to date.
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All five Phoenix starters scored in double figures in Game 2. Jae Crowder was the only player with fewer than 14 points in Game 1. Cameron Johnson and Cam Payne frequently provide useful bursts off the bench.
Milwaukee has tried to use Teague. Forbes’ shooting is useful, but he’s picked on in the pick-and-roll. The Suns have more players they can rely on, and that has been the difference in the series so far.
That depth advantage isn’t going to vanish, even if Craig is unavailable. The Bucks’ record at home is hard to look past on Sunday, however.
Bucks Get Back Into It
Phoenix has been the better team in the first two games, but there’s value on Milwaukee to win this one. Returning to Wisconsin matters. A wild crowd has worked in the Suns’ favor, and the Bucks boast a 7-1 record at Fiserv Forum in these playoffs. They are used to the pressure in front of their own fans, too, having come back from 2-0 down against the Nets, and winning a crucial Game 5 in the Conference Finals.
Perhaps the return to their homecourt helps Milwaukee’s bench players. In what is a well-matched series, just a few extra shots made by the non-stars would make all the difference.
If Antetokounmpo can play how he did in Game 2, Milwaukee is well-positioned to get back in these Finals and set up a tantalizing Game 4.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks Moneyline (-180)
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.