At the start of the 2020-2021 NBA season, the Milwaukee Bucks were favored to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. The same cannot be said of the Phoenix Suns. While many experts thought the Suns had a shot at making the playoffs, no one was willing to go out on a limb to predict they would represent the Western Conference in the Finals.

The NBA Finals are set. The Milwaukee Bucks (Eastern Conference Champ) will be playing the Phoexin Suns (Western Conference Champ). The Best of Seven series will begin on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. The series will begin in Phoenix on the basis of the Suns having a better regular-season record.

U.S. sports bettors will want to note that the Suns (-6) are currently favored to win game #1. The money line currently shows the Suns at -250 with the Bucks coming back at +195. The over/under has been set at 218.5.

During the regular season, these two teams met on two occasions. In February, Phoenix squeaked out a 125-124 win at home before again beating the Bucks in April by one point in Milwaukee by a score of 128-127. While the matchup might be a surprise, there is no denying these two teams are very closely matched.

In futures odds betting, the Suns have currently listed -190 favorites with the Bucks sitting at +160.

About the Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns first joined the NBA in 1968. In 53 years, the team has never won an NBA Championship. In fact, they have only made it to the finals once, which resulted in a Finals series loss to the Michael Jordon-led Chicago Bulls 4–2.

While they have struggled in recent years to make the playoffs, this is an NBA franchise with a rich history. Unfortunately, much of that history indicates the Suns have been successful but not successful enough.

Being favored to win the 2020-2021 NBA Championship is a big deal. It’s a big deal to the team owner Robert Sarver and Head Coach Monty Williams who is in only his second year as a head coach.

What’s most amazing about this year’s edition of the Phoenix Suns is the dramatic turnaround the team experienced in 2020-2021. Over the prior 10 seasons, they only had a winning record on one occasion, that being in 2013–14 when they won 48 games. It’s worth noting that in a COVID shortened season this year, the team won 51 games.

Last year, this was a young team that showed a bit of promise but didn’t have the glue needed to hold the team together when it mattered the most. They found that glue in 2020 when they acquired veteran superstar point guard Chris Paul in a trade with the Oklahoma Thunder.

Being the consummate floor leader, Paul has been able to help a young superstar like Devin Booker learn how to really play the game of professional basketball. The two players actually combined to be one of the best backcourts in the NBA. It’s also noteworthy that this is not a team loaded with superstars. They have a lot of solid role players who do their jobs very well.

About the Milwaukee Bucks

While the Milwaukee Bucks have actually won an NBA title, it has been a long time since that last taste of a championship. Under the leadership of two NBA greats Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor), the Bucks took the NBA title in 1971. Since that incredible year, the Backs only made it to the Finals on two other occasions (1974, 2021).

This year’s Bucks team is led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is affectionately referred to as “the freak.” Antetokounmpo is arguably the best big man currently playing in the NBA. It’s noteworthy that he sat out the last game of the Western Conference finals with an injury. The Bucks will need the freak if they are to contend for the NBA Championship title.

Wagering on the NBA Finals

As noted by the two close games these two teams played against one another, the point spread is sure to be very close for each game of the Championship series. All eyes will be watching to see if Antetokounmpo is going to be able to compete at 100%. Assuming he will be good to go, this could be a very tough series on which to wager.

For astute bettors and devout Phoenix Sins fans who wagered at the beginning on the Suns to take the NBA title, they have to be feeling rather warm and fuzzy right now. Back in November of 2020, the nation’s top bookmakers had the Suns sitting at odds of about 40 to 1. That would make a $100 bet worth $4,000 if the Suns go all the way.

By contrast, the Bucks were favored to take the Eastern Conference title and approximately 3 to 1 to go all the way. With the Bucks currently sitting at +160, bettors who bet on the Suns early have the opportunity to “hedge” their bets. If they bet $100 on the Suns at 40 to 1, a $1,000 bet now on the Bucks would ensure that they walk away from the NBA Finals with a minimum net profit of $1,500 ($1,600 profit on Bucks bet minus the $100 bet on Phoenix) should the Bucks win the series.

Of course, the Suns are playing great ball right now. It might be a mistake to waste money betting on any other outcome than a Suns victory. For basketball purists, this will be a fun series to watch. Here’s to hoping the big man from Milwaukee will be able to play at 100% during the entire series.