2021 NBA Finals: Game 3 Preview and Prediction

nba Jul 11, 2021

Down 0-2, Bucks Hope for Turnaround in NBA Finals Game 3 Sunday Night in Milwaukee

So, far it's been a one-sided NBA Finals – all Phoenix.

Now, we'll see if the Suns shine as brightly up north, as the next two games will be played in Milwaukee.  Indeed, for the Bucks, the time to win is now.  Their season is pretty much on the line Sunday night; Any realistic chance of making a comeback in this best-of-seven series will depend on rebounding in a major way with a win in Game 3.

The Bucks dropped Games 1 and 2 by double-digits in Phoenix and didn't look good in either game.  They were held well under their season scoring average, which is/was an NBA's-best 220 PPG.    

But that was then, and this is now.  Oddsmakers and the betting public at-large think this is Milwaukee's big game to make a statement.  Despite looking outclassed and being badly outplayed in some phases on the court, Milwaukee has been installed as a four-point favourite.  This marks the first time Phoenix has been an underdog in this series.

After both Games 1 and 2 both barely scraped over the total (224 points, on average), the O/U for Sunday’s matchup has inflated up to 222.

With two regular-season victories by Phoenix over Milwaukee, plus two wins already in this series, the Suns are now a perfect 4-0 this season versus the Bucks.

Milwaukee's chances aren't helped by Giannis Antetokounmpo's leg injury.  No doubt, he suited up under pressure when he was needed the most, and he played more minutes than the Bucks would have liked given his fragile condition, but he's clearly still not at 100 percent.  The Bucks hope that an extra day's rest (it's been three days since the last game) might give Antetokounmpo the chance to get as close to a full recovery, as possible.

Moreover, the Bucks do have to feel much better about this game back in the comfort of home.  Milwaukee has posted a 7-1 W-L record at home this postseason, compared to their shakey 5-6 record on the road.  Five of those seven home playoff wins were by five points or more.

When we began making picks for this NBA Finals, we predicted Phoenix would take Games 1 and 2.  Then, we thought Milwaukee would take Game 3.  READ MORE HERE

We also picked Game 2 to go over the betting total.

Now, up 3-0 in this championship series, the pressure is on to continue the hot streak.  We forecasted Milwaukee would play its best game back at home and their backs to the wall, and we'll stick with that earlier prediction.  The Bucks need to improve on their scoring up from the first two games and they should do so on Sunday, resulting in what we predict will be a pointspread cover and a final score than lands over the total.

Prediction:  Milwaukee -4 and OVER 222 – final score forecast....Bucks 117, Suns 111

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