Even after three straight Finals losses, the Phoenix Suns remain the right NBA pick for Tuesday’s Game 6 versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 – 9:00 PM ET at Fiserv Forum
It’s time for a reckoning. We’ve insisted in this space that the Phoenix Suns are the sharp choice for their NBA Finals matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks – and the Suns made us look like basketball geniuses in the first two games. Then Phoenix dropped three straight SU and ATS, leaving them on the brink of elimination for Tuesday’s Game 6 in Milwaukee. Are the good times over?
Hell no. If anything, the Suns have even more betting value for your best bets after what’s happened this past week. You don’t have to take it from us, though; as we go to press, the early consensus reports for Tuesday show 100 percent of bettors picking Phoenix, with the fine folks at Heritage Sports opening them at +5 on their NBA odds board. Early money is sharp money, as they say.
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Well, some of them still say that. But if the old-school way of thinking doesn’t resonate with you anymore, check out the computer projections at FiveThirtyEight: They have Milwaukee ahead by 2.5 points for Game 6. Jeff Sagarin at The USA Today has it even closer, almost a toss-up with the Bucks at -0.14 using his eigenvector analysis. You could fit several Deandre Aytons in that gap between the projections and the NBA lines.
Except for one projection. Sagarin’s “Recent” formula has the Bucks up by 4.98 points, almost exactly in line with the odds. Perhaps Milwaukee have indeed found the edge they needed to live up to market expectations – or perhaps the Suns have indeed broken down somewhat. Looking at you, Chris Paul.
It’s All Indoor Games
Did you spot the false binary choice? One of the earliest lessons you’ll learn in Handicapping 101 is not to put too much stock in recent results. If you’ve been watching these games at all, you’ve seen how ridiculous they’ve been; the Suns could have wrapped up their first title by now, but they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Game 4, and it took everything Milwaukee had for them to win Game 5.
As for Paul, he may have been the main cause for the Suns' collapse in Game 4, but he came back with one of his better playoff performances on Saturday, shooting 9-for-15 for 21 points while dishing 11 assists. That was good enough for a healthy plus-5.9 Box Plus/Minus at Basketball Reference. Paul’s condition is still a question mark at the end of this very long season, but these extra days off in between games help mitigate that somewhat.
Whatever happens Tuesday, let’s temper our expectations and remember how much of a role luck plays in the final results. In the long run, we’re just trying to get over 52.4 percent of our NBA spreads and totals right to cover the standard -110 juice at the online sportsbooks. It takes thousands and thousands of picks to even approach the long run. If Milwaukee deny us again on Tuesday, there’s no need to be sour. May the better team win, and may the sphere be with you in Game 6 and beyond.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.