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Breaking down odds boosts entering 2021 NBA Finals Game 1

Will Khris Middleton score 30 or more points? Does Phoenix’s backcourt have a big game?

2021 NBA Finals - Practice and Media Availability
Chris Paul and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns during practice and media availability as part of the 2021 NBA Finals on July 5, 2021 at Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. 
Photo by Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks kick off the 2021 NBA Finals Tuesday night in Phoenix. The Suns dominated the Western conference playoffs, going 12-4 on the way to the Finals. The Bucks had a slightly tougher path, winning Game 7 against the Brooklyn Nets on the road before closing out the Atlanta Hawks while Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out with a knee injury. The star is questionable for Game 1.

The Suns are favored in Game 1 and the series, but the Bucks have gone 2-0 with Antetokounmpo out. Here are three lines DraftKings Sportsbook is boosting odds on for Game 1 of the Finals.

Khris Middleton to score 30+ points (was +150, now +170)

If Antetokounmpo doesn’t play, this is a strong play for prospective bettors. Middleton is averaging 23.4 points per game in the playoffs while largely being a second fiddle to the Greek Freak. When he was out, Middleton scored 26 and 32 points. Jrue Holiday’s emergence as a scorer is concerning for bettors here, but Middleton is the key for Milwaukee. Expect the guard to have a big game to open the Finals.

Suns win the series 4-0 (was +825, now +1000)

We know at least one fan who likes this bet. “Suns in 4” has taken off after the incident between a Phoenix fan and some Nuggets fans, but this probably won’t happen. The Suns won both games of the regular season series by a point each. These teams match up really well and Milwaukee isn’t going to roll over just because their star is recovering from an injury. This is a risky wager, even with the boosted odds.

Chris Paul and Devin Booker to each score 25+ points (was +350, now +380)

Paul popped for 41 points in Game 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers, but has been relatively quiet scoring-wise in the playoffs. Booker is the main man in that department, averaging 27.0 points per game this postseason. Expect the Bucks to lock in on Paul and Booker, forcing players like Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges to take on an expanded offensive role. One guard to score 25+ has legs; expecting them both to do it is tough.

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