2.5 units


Ayton should beat Lopez most of the game and he outplayed him all 5 games they matched up and the Suns won 4 of them. Phoenix is better defensively than Milwaukee especially if Giannis doesn’t play and he’s most likely not going to because a few doctors already said it would be a longshot for him to be close to 100%. If he plays he hasn’t played in a week anyway and the Bucks lost at home to Atlanta in Game 1 with him. The Bucks don’t have a good track record in Game 1s with Budenholzer in general – 1-6 ATS the last 7 and they lost to the Magic and Heat by double digits last year and the Hawks put up 116 on them in Milwaukee and the Magic scored 122 as 13 point dogs. Boston blew them out the year before even though Milwaukee won the series 4-1. Basic defensive gameplans in Game 1 a lot of times and that’s more on Budenholzer than anything so if and when Giannis doesn’t play it’s not like that’s going to change. And Milwaukee’s been playing fast without Giannis so that favors the Suns and the Suns should want to speed them up because their starting 5 is faster than the Bucks with Lopez, Portis, and Tucker on the floor. Both games without Giannis vs Atlanta went Over. Phoenix put up 120 in Game 1 vs the Clippers and shot 41% from three after 6 days off without Chris Paul and a 21 point first quarter. Ayton shot 31-47 in two games vs Milwaukee and Lopez shot 6-34 from three in the 5 games he played against Ayton. Phoenix’s bench with Cam Payne and Cam Johnson should outplay Connaughton and Forbes. Home teams in Game 1 of the Finals are 8-2 ATS the last 10 years and a few of these games were double digit wins on a single digit line. The Bucks are getting a step up in class defensively playing the Suns after they just played Atlanta with Trae Young and Bogdonavic not 100% a lot of the series. Booker and Chris Paul will defend Holiday better than Atlanta did. Crowder and Bridges will take turns guarding Middleton. Ideally I would like it more if the Suns had 4 days off instead of 6 but when they start slow they usually have big second halves so the cover is always alive and Phoenix getting to scout Milwaukee in real time while they were off last week is a prep advantage to the already better coach who’s won and covered all 3 Game 1s these playoffs.