The NBA Finals feature two teams that few expected to make it this far. Chris Paul’s addition to the Phoenix Suns gave them the lift they needed this year. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks were able to sneak past the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals despite a knee injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Oddsmakers have installed the Suns as favorites over the Bucks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Phoenix’s home-court advantage combined with Antetokounmpo’s health questions are big reasons why.
Bucks vs. Suns Game 1 NBA Finals Player Prop Picks
|Suns vs. Bucks Prop Picks|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 52.5 PTS+REB+AST (-106, FanDuel)|
|Chris Paul Under 30.5 PTS+AST (-115, BetMGM)|
|Khris Middleton Top Point Scorer (+550, DraftKings)|
Brook Lopez Over 15.5 Points (-122, FanDuel)
Brook Lopez was one of the catalysts for Milwaukee after Giannis hyperextended his knee in Game 4. Just when it looked like the Bucks might be in big trouble, Lopez erupted for 33 points on 14-for-18 shooting from the field.
Expect Lopez to continue to play big minutes while Antetokounmpo nurses that knee injury. The two-time MVP is fighting tooth and nail to get back on the court, but he’s still listed as doubtful for Game 1.
Lopez is going to have his hands full with Deandre Ayton on defense, but we still expect to see the Milwaukee center have a good game. He’s more of a three-point threat than any other center the Suns have played against in these playoffs. That little wrinkle in Lopez’s game might give Ayton and the Suns some trouble.
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Chris Paul Over 8.5 Assists (-150, BetMGM)
Admittedly, the juice on this Chris Paul assist total is a bit high for us, but we still think it’s worth a play. Paul has gone over this number in five of his 14 playoff games this year. With that said, he has shown a willingness to be a facilitator early in series so far in these playoffs. It’s usually not until later on when Paul starts to assert himself as a scorer.
With Phoenix at full health, Paul will have all his scoring options at his disposal — Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, etc. Look for the future Hall of Famer to dish out double-digit assists in Game 1.
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Bobby Portis Under 16.5 Points (-127, DraftKings)
Bobby Portis was tremendous for Milwaukee in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, dropping 22 points with Antetokounmpo out of the game. Obviously, he’s going to see a ton of playing time while Giannis rehabs his knee injury, but we still feel like 16.5 points is a high number.
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Even without Giannis, Portis is the fourth or fifth option offensively. He’s going to get his shots up, but he’s only scored 17 points or more in one game during this postseason. He has a chance to go over on this number, but the under is the smart play here.