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Few around the NBA could have seen this coming. After going up 2-0 in fairly dominant fashion to start the NBA Finals, the Phoenix Suns suddenly find themselves trailing 3-2 at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, who are now within one victory of the franchise's second-ever championship.
And that means it's time to reevaluate everything, so you better believe we're back with 2021 NBA Finals picks, including odds and predictions for Bucks-Suns Game 6 and the NBA Finals at large.
Here are the latest NBA Finals odds for Game 6, courtesy of BetOnline:
|Milwaukee Bucks||-205||+175||Phoenix Suns|
Make sure to double-check these NBA Finals betting lines at BetOnline and other top online sportsbooks before deciding on any wagers. They will move between now and the opening tip on Tuesday night.
2021 NBA Finals Predictions
The last time we met, on the heels of Phoenix's Game 3 loss, the Suns were still fairly heavy favorites to win the series. Now, though, everything's changed.
But before we get to the updated series prices, we first need to decide whether Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and company will live to fight for a Game 7.
Game 6 Odds: Bucks (-205) vs. Suns (+175)
It's kind of incredible that the Suns are in this position, having gone from heavy favorites to extreme underdogs. Even after they dropped both Games 3 and 4, many sportsbooks still pegged them as inevitable Finals winners. After all, they had never lost three consecutive tilts in which both Booker and Paul played.
Phoenix enters Game 6 facing all sorts of issues. The biggest, of course, is that the series hangs in the balance on the road. The Bucks have lost at home just once all postseason, in large part because Giannis Antetokounmpo has done a better job of hitting his free throws in Milwaukee.
On top of all that, though, the Suns must reconcile the problems they've incurred over their past three losses.
For starters, they need to figure out a way to survive the minutes in which Booker sits on the bench. They have been outscored by a total of 22 points over the past two games when Paul plays without his co-star. That differential needs to creep much closer to net even if they're going to bag Game 6.
Phoenix also has to figure out a way to prevent Milwaukee from living in transition. That's easier said than done, but they can do their part by eliminating unnecessary attempts at offensive rebounds and just showing more flat-out hustle.
Finally, the Suns need to grapple with Giannis' nightly explosions in some form. Stopping him is impossible. He is going to eat on the break and when the Bucks use him as a screener, and he's even been good in the half-court this series. The Suns have pulled out all the stops in response. Most recently, in Game 5, they threw a bunch of double-teams at him—and were subsequently burned by scorching-hot three-point shooting from the Bucks' other players.
Here's the thing: Despite a lack of answers across the board, the Suns have been in each of the past two games. They had a fourth-quarter advantage in Game 4 and jumped out to a huge lead they eventually blew in Game 5. This is not to take anything away from the Bucks, who have been fantastic defensively and at figuring out ways to score. But both of their past two wins feel more like Phoenix losses than actual victories. We think the Suns will get over the hump in Game 6.
OSB Prediction: Suns (+175)
NBA Finals Picks: Bucks (-400) vs. Suns (+320)
Teams that go up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series are always overwhelming favorites to emerge victoriously. You're seeing that reflected in these odds.
If you want to bet on the Bucks, we would advise you to instead focus on the Game 6 moneyline. You're better off investing in a -205 than funneling money into a -400 proposition for a series that, frankly, feels far from over.
On the flip side, if you're a Sun's believer, you have a lucrative opportunity on your hands. Related: We are Suns' believers.
Expecting the Suns to win two straight after dropping three in a row is obviously a tall task. But just consider the circumstances. Chris Paul cannot possibly be any worse than he has over the past three games, and the Bucks are not going to knock down threes like they did in Game 5 every night—or necessarily ever again.
Other warts should end up stabilizing, too. The CP3-without-Book minutes shouldn't be a daily disaster. Milwaukee's three stars won't always be on fire together like they were in Game 5; in fact, it's been the exact opposite for much of the postseason.
Look, we understand if you want to sit these series prices out. Phoenix is theoretically an ultra-long shot at +320. But they were our Finals pick at the beginning of it all, and after all we've seen, we still envision that prediction coming to fruition.
OSB Prediction: Suns (+320)
Take a look at the below list of the best online sportsbooks so you can find one to use for all of your NBA betting: