Since going down 0-2, Milwaukee has seized command of the NBA Finals with three straight wins, putting Phoenix on the brink of elimination. On Saturday, the Suns came up short down the stretch for the second straight contest, losing another close matchup in Game 5. Now, to keep its season alive, Phoenix will have to win on the road in Milwaukee where the Bucks are 9-1 during the NBA Playoffs. The Bucks are vying for their first NBA title since 1974.
Can Milwaukee clinch the NBA Championship with a win at home against the Suns on Tuesday night?
Booker stays hot but Suns can’t cool off Bucks in Game 5 loss
Devin Booker scored 40 points for the second consecutive game but the Suns were unable to bounce back in a 123-119 loss at home versus the Bucks in Game 5. Down 10 with under 3:30 remaining in regulation, Phoenix mounted a furious comeback and trailed by just one point with 56 seconds left before Booker committed a crucial turnover on the ensuing possession to seal the Suns’ fate. Chris Paul chipped in 21 points and handed out 11 assists while DeAndre Ayton added 20 points and 10 boards in the loss.
DEVIN. BOOKER. pic.twitter.com/7wY8iWtz4E
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) July 18, 2021
After shooting under 33 percent from deep in Games 3 and 4, the Suns managed to shoot the ball well from 3-point range in Saturday’s loss. Phoenix shot 68.4 percent from 3-point range in Game 5 on 19 attempts (13-for-19) and all of the Suns’ starters with the exception of Ayton recorded at least two makes from beyond the arc.
Defense was the difference for Phoenix in their two victories and it will need another stellar effort on that end of the floor to send the NBA Finals back to Talking Stick Resort Arena for a potential Game 7. The Suns’ defense was on point early in Game 5 and forced 11 Milwaukee turnovers on the night, their highest total since Game 1. Phoenix also contested more than half (50.5 percent) of Milwaukee’s 87 field goal attempts. However, that mark was actually down from Games 1 through 4 (53 percent) and the Bucks ended up shooting a healthy 50 percent from 3-point range.
Deandre Ayton is anchoring the Suns’ defense at an elite level! #NBACourtOptix powered by Microsoft Azure reveals how effectively Ayton is altering shots at the rim. Tune-in to Game 3 as the Suns take on the Bucks at 8:00pm/et on ABC. pic.twitter.com/DbvAy5JR06
— NBA (@NBA) July 11, 2021
With the Greek Freak dominating the paint, the Suns defense has had to pick their poison in recent games. Phoenix ranked fifth in the NBA during the regular season in effective 3-point percentage defense, so look for the Suns to get back to defending the 3-point line in Game 6.
Milwaukee can clinch its first NBA Championship since 1974
Milwaukee overcame an early 16-point deficit to steal Game 5 of the NBA Finals with a 123-119 win on the road in Phoenix on Saturday. In a must-win game, the Bucks’ Big Three turned in their most efficient performance of the series, combining to shoot 38-for-66 (57.6 percent) in the win. Giannis Anteotokounmpo finished with 32 points, nine rebounds, and six assists while Khris Middleton added 29 points for the Bucks, who took a 3-2 series lead.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 19, 2021
While the Bucks’ All-Stars played well, the night belonged to Jrue Holiday. The Buck’s guard finished with 27 points, 13 assists, and three steals, including a clutch theft from Suns’ star Devin Booker on the most crucial defensive possession of the game. Holiday has found himself at the right place and time defensively as of late and came up with another game-changing play on Saturday. He was also the primary defender on Paul before he turned the ball over on a pick-and-roll in the late stages of Game 4 as well.
Defense ➡️ Offense
Jrue Holiday is doing it all 😤 pic.twitter.com/71sp2nW0Ei
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 18, 2021
Just one win away from the NBA Championship, Milwaukee will try to stay the course in Game 6. If the Bucks go on to win the NBA title, Holiday’s defense will be a big reason why. According to Second Spectrum, Holiday has been the primary defender on Paul and Booker for 268 possessions during the NBA Finals. During those matchups, he has held them to just 22 points per 100 possessions. Against all other Bucks defenders, the Suns’ duo is averaging 39.7 points per 100 possessions. That number is the just tip of the iceberg too. Holiday has forced Paul into an uncharacteristic 10 turnovers and Booker into eight.
NBA Finals Betting Preview
The Bucks come into Game 6 favored by five points at home and the projected total is set at 222 points, the highest number since the start of the series. Bovada sportsbook has set Milwaukee as money line favorites with -190 odds and money line bettors can squeeze a little more value out of Phoenix at +165.
NBA Betting Trends
Trends can be valuable information for bettors looking to improve their NBA betting strategy.
Below is a shortlist of trends for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
- Bucks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Tuesday games.
- Bucks are 3-8 ATS in the last 11 meetings
- Bucks are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in Milwaukee
- Suns are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games.
- Suns are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games following an ATS loss.
- Suns are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 Tuesday games.
NBA Finals Betting Predictions
Before we get to our predictions and analysis for Tuesday’s contest, let’s go back and see how we performed in Game 5.
Game 5 Recap:
Money Line: Milwaukee Bucks (+145) ✅
Spread: Milwaukee Bucks +4.0 ( -110) ✅
Total: Over 218 ( -110) ✅
Props: Pat Connaughton Over 1.5 3-pointers (-120) ✅
Our picks went a perfect 4-for-4 in Game 5. We selected the Bucks to win on the money line and cover +4.0 as well as the game to go over the projected 218 point total. All three of those selections were winners and our props bet for Pat Connaughton to record -1.5 3-pointers was settled as a winner before the first quarter was even over.
Below, you can find more NBA betting predictions and analysis for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
NBA Finals Game 6 Spread Prediction:
After a pair of close games, the Bucks are favored by a healthy five points at home in Game 6, which seems a bit high in this spot. Jrue Holiday has come up big on the defensive end in back-to-back games but Milwaukee didn’t look like a team ready to close out the series in Game 5. The Bucks nearly surrendered a late 10-point lead and missed free throws down the stretch almost cost them a chance to seal the victory. For the first time since the start of the series, the Suns will be the more desperate team on Tuesday. With Booker on fire and the Suns in a win-or-go-home game, it’s hard not to see this series going to Game 7. But even if Phoenix doesn’t win, there should be some value with the points in this spot. Take the Suns to cover the spread in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday evening.
NBA Finals Game 6 Money Line Prediction:
The odds are actually in Milwaukee’s favor and most of the NBA pundits are taking the Bucks in this game, which is exactly why we’re going the other way here. The winner of Game 5 has been crowned the NBA Champion 72.4% of the time (21-8). However, that number is actually lower than the overall postseason mark, which stands at 82.1% all-time for all playoff rounds. The Suns shot the ball well and didn’t turn the ball over last game but it didn’t translate to a victory. They failed to put away the Bucks early and were unable to complete a comeback of their own late in the fourth quarter but showed a different level of desperation down the stretch. Aside from Paul and Crowder, the Suns have a young team that is still learning how to close out games but I’m expecting them to show up with their season on the line in Game 6. Take the Suns to send this series back to Phoenix with a win at Fiserv Forum on Tuesday evening.
NBA Finals Game 6 Total Prediction:
Both teams were red-hot from beyond the 3-point line in Game 5 and conventional wisdom would tell us to look for some regression in this spot. Milwaukee knocked down 14 of its 28 3-point attempts on Saturday while the Suns were even better from deep, hitting 13 of their 19 shots from downtown. Antetokounmpo has also returned to his normal self from the free-throw line over the last two games. He’s shot just 8-for-19 from the charity stripe during that span (42.1 percent), which should leave some value on the under in this spot. Take Game 6 to stay under the projected total on Tuesday night.
NBA Finals Game 6 Player Props:
Bridges doesn’t get the credit that he deserves for the Suns’ success, especially on the defensive end of the floor but the 24-year-old has morphed into one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. He’s taken on more responsibility defensively over the last three games as well and has averaged less than five field goal attempts per game during that span. He’s also recorded a block in each one of those contests and averaged nearly a block per game (0.9) during the regular season. With the Suns’ season on the line, it wouldn’t surprise me to see an all-out effort from him on the defensive end of the floor in this one. Take Mikal Bridges to record a block in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.
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