NBA Betting Preview: Suns vs. Bucks with Odds, Pick, and Prediction
On Sunday, the Milwaukee Bucks will host the Phoenix Suns in a rematch of the 2021 NBA Finals and a possible preview of this year’s Finals. Stay ahead of the game with our NBA betting preview.
The Bucks currently sit second in the East, tied in losses with the Boston Celtics, so every game down the stretch will be crucial if they want to keep their home court. Meanwhile, the Suns are fourth in the West but only three losses above 12th, as the conference simply refuses to settle.
Unfortunately for the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo is questionable, and Kevin Durant is out, but there’s plenty to look forward to in Sunday’s matinée matchup.
The Bucks opened as 5-point favorites, but the line has moved to Bucks -3.5 as game time approaches, which could be an interesting development for NBA online betting enthusiasts. Let’s get into it and see what we can find in Suns vs. Bucks.
The Phoenix Suns
The Suns have been playing better recently even without Durant in the lineup. Devin Booker returned from a lengthy injury on Feb. 7, and the team is 4-1 in his last five games since his return.
This season, the Suns have excelled in a few areas in particular, but nearly all of these areas are statistical categories in which the Bucks also excel defensively.
The Suns have the seventh-lowest 3-point percentage in the league, while the Bucks have the second-lowest.
This season, the Suns are sixth in offensive rebound percentage, while the Bucks are fourth in defensive rebound percentage.
The Suns are third in the league in terms of spot-up points per game, while the Bucks allow the fewest points per possession.
The Suns are already shorthanded, with Durant yet to make his debut and Landry Shamet still out. The Suns’ ceiling was undoubtedly raised by the trade for KD. However, losing several key rotation members lowered their floor in regular season games, and even more so before Durant is able to play. The Suns will have a difficult time scoring on Sunday.
The Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have struggled to score for what seems like the entire season. Their Offensive Rating is 18th in the league, a far cry from last season’s third-ranked unit.
Part of that is due to the team missing Kris Middleton at the start of the season and then having to weave him back in after his long absence. Some of it, however, has simply been stagnation.
When Antetokounmpo is out, the situation only worsens. This season, the Bucks average 116.0 points per game with their talisman, which ranks among the top 10. However, in the 11 games he has missed, the team has averaged just 111.0 points per game, ranking third in the league.
The Bucks are also heavily reliant on 3-point shooting. They try to win the math game every time they step on the court, and they average the fourth-most three-pointers per game. The Suns, on the other hand, are among the best teams in the league at limiting those looks, ranking fourth in the league this season in terms of fewest threes allowed per game to their opponents. It’s once again the story of a team that may struggle to score on Sunday.
NBA Betting Preview | Phoenix Suns-Bucks Prediction
If you read all of the analysis, you won’t be surprised by where I’m going with this pick, but I’m going to change the under bet slightly. I’m going to concentrate on the first half. This is because these are two of the five teams that have most frequently gone under in the first half of the season.
In the first half of this season, the Suns are a wild 40-21-0 to the under, with a ROI of +25.4%—the highest in the NBA. The Bucks, on the other hand, have always favored the under, going 34-25-0 (+10.0% ROI) before the break this season.
When all of the matchup data above suggests an under, I like the first half under for the Bucks and Suns on Sunday’s ABC game, especially when it comes to OKBET sports betting.