Bucks and Suns Now Even at 2-2, Series Shifts Back to Phoenix on Saturday Night
So far, it's been home sweet home in all four games of the NBA Finals. Indeed, the home team has won and covered in every contest. We expect this trend to continue on Saturday night in Phoenix when the Suns host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5.
Even though they lost back-to-back games in Milwaukee which evened up the series at 2-2, the Suns are listed as a -3.5 favourite over the visiting Bucks. Note that this line is lower than the pointspread for Games 1 and 2 in Phoenix (which was PHX -5 and PHX -4.5).
The total for Saturday’s big game has dropped to down 218 – which is the first time the total for a matchup in this series has fallen below 220 since Game 1 (which was 219.5).
Watching games and our reactions to what happened is always subjective, but Phoenix should have won and covered in Game 4. We had Milwaukee laying -4.5. However, from the opening tip-off it was clear the Suns where the right site getting points.
Both teams battled back and forth but the Suns held the lead much of the game. They should probably have won and certainly should have covered based on how the game played out. But a late turnover and collapse in the final two minutes gave the Bucks a surprising victory and unlikely cover. That said, it's accurate to point out Phoenix has outplayed Milwaukee in three of four games. Only the 20-point blowout loss in Game 3 were the Bucks deserving of the pointspread cover.
Prior results don't always indicate what will happen next, of course, but 7 out of the last 8 meetings between these two teams have gone OVER the total. The average points scored has been 223 points per contest – and that includes some real offensive duds along the way.
There's some evidence therefore, that this total tonight – at 218 points – is an overreaction to what happened last Wednesday. Both teams got off to a slow start with bad shooting. They stumbled out of the gate offensively, finishing up the first quarter with a 23-20 score. The low total of just 43 points was a 172-point pace.
That's not likely to happen again.
Prediction: Let's stick with trends which favour the home team, the Suns as the better all-around roster, and a return to the mean so far as scoring averages. Betting Phoenix -3.5 and OVER 218.
Final Score Forecast: Phoenix Suns 116, Milwaukee Bucks 110