Suns Up 1-0 Host NBA Finals Game 2 on Thursday Night
First, let's brag a little.
In Game 1, we predicted an easy Phoenix win and cover. We also forecasted the final score to be 115-105.
Actual final score: 118-105.
So, we missed it by a 3-point basket.
Anyway, we'll take the win and will bask in the confidence of following the script we predicted earlier – that Phoenix would jump out to a 2-0 game lead in the series before Milwaukee bounces back with a home victory in Game 3.
But now we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Let's examine Game 2 tonight more closely.
Game 1 had the Suns favoured by -6. Now, the game line is Suns -5.5. And this comes after a 13-point win where the underdog was never in the game after mid-3rd quarter.
Milwaukee is probably gaining some support given that two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo suited up and played a pretty good game (he saw 32 minutes of action). He was listed as questionable, and bettors weren't sure how many minutes he'd play or what condition he'd be in with the leg injury. Perhaps the reassurance that Antetokounmpo is close to normal is reason for the Bucks getting slightly more support in Game 2.
The O/U is 219.5, which is identical to the total in Game 1.
Here's the latest numbers at SPREADS.CA.
After surviving a tough gauntlet of postseason opponents in the Eastern Conference – defeating Miami, Brooklyn, and Atlanta – Milwaukee finally ran into a brick wall. Phoenix built a 16-point lead after first three quarters of Tuesday’s series opener, which never gave Milwaukee a chance to make the game competitive down the stretch. They must avoid falling into a similar sinkhole in Game 2.
Both teams shot similar percentages from the field (the Bucks were far better with 3-pointers), so the game was won by Phoenix outhustling Milwaukee and winning in the paint, and the free-throw line. If the Suns continue drawing fouls at the rate of Game 1, this series might be over sooner than expected (the Suns made 25/26 FTs).
With regards to the total (219.5), five straight games between Milwaukee and Phoenix have gone OVER the number – with their previous four bouts containing an average of 253 points across them. Game 1 landing in 223 wasn't much of a margin of error, but OVER looks to have some value if this total stays below the 220 mark.
Look for Milwaukee to have a better offensive game than their 105 point output in Game 1. For this reason, the OVER is likely the best play tonight. Phoenix should reach their season scoring average again – 115 PPG. And Milwaukee led the NBA with 120 PPG. So, let's count on the Bucks getting closer to that number in Game 2.
Prediction: There's compelling reason to bet Game 2 OVER 219.5 points, and that's precisely our play. Game forecast – Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 115