The 2021 NBA Finals Game 1 betting preview is here! Increase your chance to win after reviewing the news and bet online at BetRivers.
Milwaukee and Phoenix face off with the NBA title on the line. The Bucks arrive in the finals after surviving a roller coaster series against the Atlanta Hawks that saw Trae Young hurt his foot before Giannis hurt his knee. The injury to their star was too much for Atlanta to overcome, which means that the short-handed Bucks will get their shot at winning their first NBA title since 1971.
The Suns, on the other hand, were able to outlast the Clippers, overcoming CP3’s COVID quarantine and Devin Booker’s broken nose to win in six games. They’ll get a chance to win their first title in franchise history. Can they pull it off? Can they put the icing on Chris Paul’s career?
Let’s take a look at where the value lies for 2021 NBA Finals Game 1.
2021 NBA Finals Game 1 Betting Preview
LINE: Phoenix (-5.5)
The big question mark heading into this series is the status of Giannis, the Bucks 26-year old two-time MVP. We all saw what happened to him in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Atlanta. He landed awkwardly, hyperextending his left knee and missing the final two games of the series. There was some optimism that he might be able to suit up for a Game 7 on Monday if that were needed, and he did go through some on-court work before Game 6.
As it currently stands, he’s listed as day-to-day, and it is unclear if he’ll be available in Game 1. This is something that we are going to have to monitor as tip off approaches.
But whether or not Giannis is on the floor, this is not going to be an optimal matchup for the Bucks.
The biggest issue they are going to have comes with how they have to defend ball-screens. Milwaukee plays drop coverage. The Suns are uniquely suited to destroying drop coverage because Devin Booker and Chris Paul are the NBA’s preeminent mid-range assassins. Seriously, if you needed someone to bury a 17-foot pull-up jumper to save your life, is there a player that you would pick over either of those two to take it?
If you want a perfect example of why this is going to be an issue, just look at the Phoenix-Denver series. Yes, there was some Jamal Murray-sized mitigating circumstances there, but the truth is that the Suns just steam-rolled the NBA MVP like he was still Fat Nikola from his teenage days.
If you want another one, you need to look not further than to see what Trae Young was able to do against Milwaukee’s drop. This is going to be a tough matchup for Brook Lopez, and it will not be ideal for a banged of Giannis if he does find a way to get back on the floor.
But that’s not the only issue at hand here.
Milwaukee is going to have to play big. They are going to need someone on the floor to deal with Deandre Ayton, who has been really good in the playoffs. They’re also going to need to have their two best perimeter defenders guarding CP3 and Devin Booker, and unless you’re going to use P.J. Tucker on one of those two — feasible, I guess, if it’s Booker, but certainly not ideal — that means that Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are going to have to work their tails off on the defensive end while trying to be the sole creators offensively.
On the other end, one of Booker or CP3 is always going to be able to take possessions off. Pat Connaughton, Tucker, Bryn Forbes. These are not players that are going to wear down legs to defend. This is another pretty significant matchup advantage for the Suns.
Now throw in that the two-best crunchtime scorers also exist in the Valley of the Sun, and I’m having trouble seeing how Milwaukee can outlast this group.
Take the Suns and lay the points in Game 1.
2021 NBA Finals Odds
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