Tag Archives: playoffs

NBA Finals 2021: Bucks vs. Suns Game 1 Vegas Odds, Prop Bets and Predictions

The 2021 NBA Finals are set to get underway Tuesday, with the Phoenix Suns hosting the Milwaukee Bucks.

For Milwaukee, it’s been a breakthrough postseason. After watching superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo win back-to-back MVP awards but failing to make the Finals, the Bucks finally have a spot in the championship series.
It’s been a surprising season for the Suns, who hadn’t previously made the playoffs since the 2009-10 campaign. It’s also been a coming-out party for budding star Devin Booker and a bit of a storybook run for Chris Paul, who despite 11 All-Star appearances, is on the cusp of appearing in his first Finals series.

“It was a lot excitement, a lot of emotion for myself, coach and the team,” Paul said of winning the Western Conference Finals, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Real-life stuff.”
Getting to this point is huge, but the Bucks and Suns now have to refocus on winning what should be a hard-fought—and entertaining—series. There will be plenty of action on the court for bettors to take in as well.

The Bucks still have talented players like Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday, but without Antetokounmpo, a six-point line feels like a lot to overcome. Phoenix -6 feels like a fairly safe pick here—though it’ll be important to follow the injury report up to game time.
Khris Middleton Over/Under 27.5 Points
If Antetokounmpo can’t go, someone is going to have to step up for Milwaukee offensively. In the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, much of the responsibility fell on Middleton.
Middleton, a two-time All-Star, scored 26 and 32 points in Games 5 and 6, respectively.
DraftKings has the over/under for Middleton set at 27.5 points for Game 1. This is a fairly lofty line, but it’s not unrealistic. Putting Middleton at the center of a team-ball approach arguably gives Milwaukee its best chance at pulling off the upset.

Heading into gameday, the Suns are six-point favorites, likely for a couple of reasons. Phoenix is playing host, which should give the Suns a slight advantage. The Bucks could also play without Antetokounmpo, which puts them at a major disadvantage.

While Milwaukee was able to outlast the Atlanta Hawks with Antetokounmpo sidelined by a knee injury, beating Booker, Paul, Deandre Ayton and Co. will be an entirely different challenge. Just look at how the Los Angeles Lakers floundered against Phoenix when Anthony Davis went down.

49ers can still utilize tight end Davis


In recent days, troubling pre-playoff questions have emerged for the 49ers. Will slumping placekicker David Akers remain on the roster? Can defensive tackle Justin Smith approach something approximating his All-Pro level if he plays with a partially torn triceps? Another question isn’t new, but, like the others, it remains unanswered: When will tight end Vernon Davis reappear in the offense? A year after Davis played his best in the season’s biggest games, he appears unlikely to reprise his January heroics. At least, that is, if the past three months are any type of foreshadowing. In his final 11 regular-season games, Davis had 21 receptions and scored as many touchdowns as San Francisco safety Donte Whitner (one). His 245 receiving yards in that span were 47 fewer than he had in two playoff games last year. After torching the Saints and Giants for four touchdowns in the postseason, Davis remained hot to start 2012: After five games, he was on pace for 74 catches, 970 yards and 13 touchdowns. In mid-December, Davis theorized his torrid start inspired teams to adopt you-won’t-beat-us game plans. “The first five games of the season, I was taking off up the sideline,” Davis said. “They probably looked at film of that and said, ‘We’ve got to stop this guy.’ But I didn’t expect them to do it consistently. Normally they’ll do it, and then in a couple weeks I’ll get open. It’s not like the coaches aren’t putting things in for me – they’re putting plays in for me every week. But it just hasn’t worked out. The defenses are taking me away.” As his coaches and teammates have noted, the focus on Davis has opened up opportunities for others. In the final six-regular-season games, tight end Delanie Walker had the most receiving yards (246) in a six-game stretch of his seven-year career. Similarly, wide receiver Michael Crabtree had six-game career highs in receptions (38) and yards (564).

Meanwhile, Davis had six catches – four fewer than fullback Bruce Miller – and 61 yards in the final six-game stretch. Known for his me-first attitude early in his career, Davis, 28, has jokingly expressed frustration about his lack of catches this season. However, he has stuck with a team-oriented script when pressed about his lack of production. “I’ll do whatever it takes to help this team,” Davis said Thursday. “Right now, I just want to make it to where we’re trying to go.” Of course, if the 49ers are to reach the Super Bowl they could use more production from Davis. If he can channel last season’s playoff performance, the 49ers could overcome those other questions surrounding them.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/49ers/article/49ers-can-still-utilize-tight-end-Davis-4170348.php#ixzz2HDrPBxeY