Bucks-Suns Game 5 best bets: Phoenix in very profitable spot
The Bucks nabbed the biggest victory of their season at home in Game 4, tying the series before it heads back to Phoenix. Will they win their third straight this weekend, or does the chalk win out yet again?
Here's what bettors should expect for Saturday's critical Game 5.
We mentioned in our Game 4 preview that the Suns have a knack for fast starts following a loss; Phoenix is 4-0 against the first-half spread across these playoffs in that spot. The club came through again Wednesday, entering the locker room tied and ultimately covering the +2 first-half line.
However, the Bucks found some timely buckets down the stretch en route to their second straight win and cover. Favorites are a perfect 4-0 in the Finals, with three victories by double digits.
Milwaukee's the underdog again Saturday, a role it's struggled in lately. The Bucks are just 5-12 ATS in their last 17 postseason contests when getting points and 2-8 ATS in the last 10 as road 'dogs.
The Suns coming off a loss sets them up for another play on the first-half line, but here's an even better angle to consider: Favorites giving between -3 and -6.5 points are a blistering-hot 26-8 ATS (76.5%) during the postseason, while only four teams over that span lost outright, according to Covers.
Phoenix has dropped back-to-back games, but head coach Monty Williams and Co. don't stay down for long. The club has only lost three consecutive games versus the spread twice since the start of the regular season and is currently riding a brilliant 20-7 ATS mark when it fails to cover in the previous contest.
The Suns probably don't get a second straight 40-plus-point showing from Devin Booker, but the supporting cast can't be much worse after Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, and others struggled. Plus, the Suns only lost by six despite recording 21 fewer field goals than the Bucks.
Take the Suns, who are on a 36-16 ATS run at home.
Pick: Suns -4
Jae Crowder over rebounds
Ayton's the obvious pick to go bonkers on the glass, but don't overlook Crowder.
The latter was a nonfactor in Game 1, but he's finding his stride. Crowder's point production is up, as are his rebounding totals; after posting eight or more boards just twice in his first 16 postseason contests this year, he's averaging 8.3 in the series.
Khris Middleton over made threes
Middleton's 40-point effort in Game 4 was his latest clutch performance in the playoffs.
I don't envision Middleton topping that number in Game 5, but his 3-point total deserves a look. He's canned at least three triples in four of his last five and is chucking up north of eight attempts per game in the series.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. Find him on Twitter @AjKolodziej.