The Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 16 point first quarter deficit in Game 5 to earn the away victory and move within one victory of an NBA Championship. The series shifts back to the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee tonight for Game 6 and the Phoenix Suns will need to play like the league best road team they were throughout the regular season if they hope to force a decisive Game 7 on their home court Thursday.

Let’s jump into the two best bets to make for the Suns vs. Bucks Game 6 matchup of the NBA Finals.

Devin Booker posted his second straight 40 point effort in Game 5, but it wasn’t enough once again. The Bucks used a three-pronged attack of Giannis Antetokounmpo (32 points), Khris Middleton (29 points), and Jrue Holiday (27 points) to overcome Booker’s stellar individual performance.

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Best Bets for Suns vs. Bucks Game 6

Tonight’s potential elimination game for the Suns creates some interesting individual situations for players in the game. We have identified three player prop bet wagering options that we believe provide solid value for betters in tonight’s affair. We share those now, accompanied by our rationale for each selection.

Best Bets for Game 6
Chris Paul Over 34.5 Total Points, Rebounds & Assists (FanDuel Sportsbook -122)
Deandre Ayton Over 12.5 Rebounds (DraftKings Sportsbook -105)

Chris Paul Over 34.5 Total Points, Rebounds & Assists (FanDuel Sportsbook -122)

Tonight could be it for Chris Paul’s title hopes and we expect an effort that represents that sobering fact for the aging veteran. Paul has logged between 34 and 41 minutes per game in this series and could push toward that upper bound tonight in a game with possibly no tomorrow.

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Paul has taken at least 13 shots in 11 straight playoff games, averaging 18.2 attempts in that stretch. He has made at least eight shots in six of his last seven games this postseason, while also averaging three made 3-pointers per game in his last six outings. He has not gotten to the foul line much in this series, but we know that he almost never misses when he does and could give us some free points toward our total late in this one if the Suns do end up holding a late, close lead.

Paul topped this prop’s required total three times thus far in this series, but each of those were played in Phoenix. However, with the stakes so high tonight, we expect to see the point guard’s best, as he has stepped up in key spots in this postseason already. Paul posted 53 combined points-rebounds-assists when Phoenix was down 2-1 in the Clippers series, 47 in the closeout game against Denver, and 30 when down 2-1 against the Lakers. The last result obviously wouldn’t have cashed this prop, but it was Paul’s highest output of that series by eight and was accomplished in just 32 minutes of play.

Last season, Paul topped this prop’s number for the Thunder against the Rockets when his team was down 2-0, 2-1, and 3-2 in the series, as well as in Game 7 when he posted a triple-double in the loss. In the Game 6 elimination loss to Golden State in the Western Conference Semifinals in 2019, Paul put up 44 total points, rebounds, and assists. He tallied a combined 58 of those stats in Game 5 of the conference semifinals in 2018 to send the Jazz home. If you keep going back through his postseason history, he seems to top this prop’s total in almost every game where his team or his opponent is eliminated.

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So, the clutch history is there, but are the current stats? Well, Paul averaged more points (17.0) and assists (9.2) on the road than at home this season to go with an equal number of rebounds (4.5). That combined sum of 30.7 came in just 32.3 minutes per game, 4.5 less minutes per game than he has averaged in this series (36.8). Paul also attempted more field goals and 3-pointers per game on the road, while shooting an improved percentage for both, as well.

He easily surpassed this prop’s total in both regular season meetings with the Bucks, including a 42 point-rebound-assist tally in the one game at Fiserv Forum. Paul was also more statistically effective on longer rest this season. Two days of rest, like tonight, saw him average 18.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 10.2 assists per game, his best rebound and assist numbers of any rest period and nearly his best scoring average.

Deandre Ayton Over 12.5 Rebounds (DraftKings Sportsbook -105)

Much like Antetokounmpo, Deandre Ayton’s potential rebound output in Game 5 was limited by the greatly diminished number of total rebounds available in the game, thanks to the lights out shooting by both teams. The 72 total rebounds in Game 5 fell 11 short of even the next lowest amount in any other game in this series. The previous four games had averaged 87.5 total rebounds per game, in fact.

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Ayton still managed to pull down a game high 10 rebounds in Game 5, 13.9% of the available total. That’s still impressive, considering his previous efforts in games in which he topped 25 minutes of play in this series returned 19.3%, 12.4%, and 21.1% of the total rebounds in each game. With more rebounds sure to be available tonight, as the teams shoot closer to (or perhaps below) their normal averages, Ayton will likely have more than enough opportunities to pull down 13 or more boards.

Ayton played a game high 45 minutes in Game 5, an immense amount for a big man. This exemplifies the importance of the 6’11” center on the court for the Suns and he will surely have another hefty workload tonight in what could be the team’s final game of the season. Ayton has logged 39 or more minutes in six of the last eight games, pulling down 17 or more rebounds in four of those six outings.

 

Ayton has topped this rebound total eight times already this postseason to go with another 24 times during the regular season. That makes 32 of 90 total games this season with 13 or more rebounds (35.6%) and another four regular season games where Ayton amassed exactly 12 rebounds. Ayton averaged just 31.5 minutes per game in those last four games mentioned and just 30.5 overall during the regular season.

There is an expectation of 40+ minutes from the big man again tonight. That should be plenty of time to get to 13 or more rebounds, as he averaged 10.7 per game on the road during the regular season in significantly less playing time.

Ayton also averaged 11.4 rebounds per game on two days of rest this season, while also posting a stellar 12.7 rebounds per game average on the road in the playoffs. He collected 13 rebounds in 40 minutes in the one regular season meeting with Milwaukee on this court and we expect much of the same tonight against a Bucks lineup that continues to run a smaller lineup out there for large chunks of these games.

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