NBA Championship Odds Tilt to Milwaukee’s Side As Giannis Starts to Dominate

Suns Vs Bucks Game 3 With Giannis Antetokounmpo

The NBA championship odds have narrowed after the Bucks blew out the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of the 2021 NBA Finals.
Phoenix still leads the series 2-1 but from being +385 underdogs, Milwaukee is now just a 2/1 underdog.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored 83 points, grabbed 25 rebounds, and issue 10 assists in the last two games of the Finals and is starting to dominate against a thin Phoenix frontcourt.

The NBA Championship odds had a significant shift heading to Wednesday’s Game 4.

Down 2-0 in the series, the Milwaukee Bucks pummeled the undersized Suns 120-100 in a dominant Game 3 win on Sunday night at the Fiserv Forum. With the win, the Bucks are within a game of tying the series, with the next game to be played at their home court as well.

With the Bucks getting on board, the series odds have shifted. It was just a couple of days ago when the Suns were up 2-0 with ease and were a massive -475 odds on favorite to win the series:

Suns up 2-0 with ease. Updated Series Odds:

Bucks +385
Suns -475

GM 3 Sunday:

Suns +4 @ Bucks
Total = 222#NBAFinals Odds>

— Dave Mason (@DaveMasonBOL) July 9, 2021

But all it needed was one statement victory from Milwaukee and the odds have narrowed significantly:

New: Updated NBA Championship Odds

🏀 Milwaukee Bucks +205
🏀 Phoenix Suns -245

— (@betonline_ag) July 12, 2021

According to the BetOnline App, the Bucks are now just +205 underdogs heading to Game 4 after being a big +385 underdog after Game 2. Now we can say that we have a Finals series and the Bucks can put it back to square one with a win in Game 4 where they’ve opened as 4-point betting favorites.

Ayton the Most Valuable Suns Player?

Foul trouble left Suns’ Deandre Ayton a nonfactor after fast start

— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) July 12, 2021

Before the start of the 2021 NBA Finals, the focus has been on Phoenix’s All-Star backcourt which has been impressive throughout the entire postseason. Chris Paul is the odds on favorite to win Finals MVP honors and prior to Game 3, Devin Booker was right behind him in the oddboards at the best NBA betting sites. But while the two have been the more talked about Suns in this series, perhaps it is Deandre Ayton who is the most valuable player on the Suns.

Paul and Booker took a lot of credit for Game 1. But remember that Ayton scored 22 points and grabbed 19 rebounds while shooting 80% from the field in his NBA Finals debut, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in NBA history to score 20+ points and grab 15+ rebounds while shooting 80%+ from the field in his first ever NBA Finals game.

In Game 3, Ayton had a fast start, scoring 16 points on 8-11 shooting after one and one fourths-quarters played. But after getting into foul trouble, he would score only two points, on two free throws, beginning the 9:35 mark of the second quarter. He ended up playing only 24 minutes, the fewest during the Suns’ current postseason run.

With Ayton plagued by foul trouble, Milwaukee outrebounded Phoenix by 11 boards, including 7 off the offensive glass. The Bucks also outscored the Suns 54-40 in points in the paint while taking 10 more free throws than Phoenix, and making nine more foul shots. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo even took one more free throw the entire Suns team.

Giannis Starting to Dominate

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the first player in NBA playoffs history with at least 80 points, 25 rebounds and 10 assists in any 2-game span in the Finals.

— Stathead (@Stathead) July 12, 2021

There was no question that Giannis Antetokounmpo was the reason why the Bucks won Game 3. Sure, you can point to Devin Booker’s poor shooting game. But not only did Giannis put up 41 points and make 13 of 17 free throws in the game, he also forced Ayton into foul trouble.

In the last two games, Antetokounmpo has racked up statistics that no one has ever done in consecutive games at the NBA Finals: 80 points, 25 rebounds, and 10 assists. Since coming back from the hyper-extended knee he suffered in the East Finals, Antetokounmpo has averaged 34.3 points, 14.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 62.5% from the field. There’s no question that he’s starting to dominate and if that continues, it will be a big problem for the Suns moving forward.

Phoenix entered the 2021 NBA Finals with a thin frontcourt and after losing back-up big man Dario Saric to a season-ending ACL injury, the Suns have even become thinner up front. Torrey Craig return in Game 3 but he is coming off a knee injury and may not be 100%. Not to mention that he’s not really a “big man”. But with Craig compromised, the only other serviceable big for Phoenix is Frank Kaminsky.

Looking at the Milwaukee lineup, the Bucks have two seven footers in Brook Lopez and Antetokounmpo. Then there is bruiser Bobby Portis who is 6-10, and the undersized P.J. Tucker who also plays tough up front. If Milwaukee bullies the Suns in the paint like they did in Game 3, Ayton’s going to get punished and Giannis is going to dominate. Monty Williams must make the necessary adjustments or else the championship odds could flip the next time we talk about them.