The Phoenix Suns got off to a blazing start in the NBA Finals, taking care of business at home, taking a 2-0 lead to begin the series. Following Phoenix’s fast start, the Milwaukee Bucks answered the bell in Game 3, making the necessary adjustments to give their home crowd a reason to cheer en route to a 20-point victory. With the Bucks getting another home game on Wednesday, they’ll want to even the series instead of falling to the dreaded 3-1 deficit.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has proven that his knee injury from nearly two weeks ago isn’t hindering his play in the slightest, as he’s put together back-to-back games of 40+ points and 12+ rebounds. Given his recent performances, Antetokounmpo enters Wednesday night with an over/under of 34.5 points on the majority of sportsbooks. While I won’t have interest in betting Antetokounmpo’s points, there are other bets I like that can be packaged together into a Same Game Parlay on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
Deandre Ayton Over 16.5 points (-108)
Early in Game 3, it was clear that the Suns were making a concerted effort to get Deandre Ayton involved in the offense. Back in Game 2, Ayton was relatively quiet with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists. It was just the fifth time that Ayton scored 10 or fewer points in 19 playoff games thus far. But in Game 3, Ayton would score 12 points in the first quarter and would finish the game with 18 points. The only obstacle that prevented Ayton from surpassing the 20-point plateau was him getting in foul trouble, which limited him to 24 minutes on the floor.
Despite his reduced minutes, Ayton saw his highest usage percentage (26.3%) of the playoffs and his second-highest usage percentage of the season. Even though the Suns lost by double-digits in the last game, they may have found a way to get Ayton easy shots in the paint. Phoenix continually forced Milwaukee to switch on Ayton, causing smaller players to guard the former No. 1 overall pick close to the basket, leading to 13 paint touches for Ayton. Look for the Suns to deploy a similar game plan in Game 4 in hopes it can create more open shots for them outside. All we need for Ayton to do to reach 17 points scored — which he’s done in seven out of his last 10 games — is for him to stay out of foul trouble.
Jrue Holiday Over 4.5 rebounds (-144)
In the last game between these two teams, we saw a more methodical, efficient approach from Jrue Holiday. Holiday would make eight of his 14 shots from the field while knocking down five of his 10 three-point attempts. The veteran guard would also log five rebounds and nine assists to help the Bucks secure their first win of the NBA Finals. Amid Holiday’s inconsistent shooting display in the postseason, he’s remained extremely active on both ends of the court.
When it comes to rebounding the basketball, Holiday has recorded at least five rebounds in all three games of the NBA Finals so far. Furthermore, Holiday has hauled in at least five rebounds each of his last six outings and seven of his last 10. The former first-round pick out of UCLA has gotten 9.7 rebound chances per game against the Suns in the series, converting 58.6 percent of his rebound chances. Even with Holiday’s recent run of bringing down at least five rebounds, his rebound total is currently set at 4.5 for Wednesday night. Seeing that the Bucks would prefer Antetokounmpo or Holiday to grab the rebounds to get into their offense quicker, I’ll take advantage of Holiday’s rebound total until the sportsbooks raise it.
Pat Connaughton Over 7.5 points (-110)
From early in the series between the Bucks and Suns, it was easy to see that Milwaukee wasn’t going to have many answers for Ayton. Instead of matching up with Brook Lopez, the Bucks have gradually decreased the minutes for Lopez, and they have deployed a small-ball lineup more often. During their small-ball minutes, Antetokounmpo is typically operating as the center in Milwaukee’s lineup. And as Lopez heads to the bench, Pat Connaughton has been given more minutes to add more shooting on the floor.
To begin the series, Connaughton has garnered 28+ minutes in all three games, including 30+ minutes in the past two games of the series. As a result of his expanded minutes, Connaughton has posted eight or more points in each game of the NBA Finals thus far. Going back to Game 7 of the Conference Semi-Finals versus the Brooklyn Nets, Connaughton has scored eight or more in seven out of his last 10 games, including each of his last five appearances. It’s a good sign that Connaughton has made two or more three-pointers in four consecutive playoff games. While some people chase points for Bobby Portis or other role players for the Bucks, I’m siding with Connaughton to give Milwaukee much-needed scoring off the bench once again in a pivotal Game 4.
Final Parlay Odds: +481
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