The Daily Sweat: Yes, the Phoenix Suns are officially NBA Finals favorites

·5-min read

The Phoenix Suns are the favorites to win the NBA Finals.

We’re still waiting to find out who the Suns will play in the Finals after Milwaukee took a 3-2 series lead over Atlanta on Thursday night. But no matter if the Bucks get another win or the Hawks get two wins to get to the finals, the winner of the East is set to enter the title series as an underdog to the Suns.

If you’re interested in betting on the Suns right now, there are three options for you at BetMGM.

The first is the Suns to win the Finals straight up. Phoenix is a -160 favorite to win the title ahead of the Bucks at +170 and the Hawks at +1300. Those odds are likely affected by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s knee injury, though it is not as serious as it could have been, and Antetokounmpo could be back for the Finals.

Will he be at 100%? We have no idea. But neither is Suns point guard Chris Paul. He revealed after Game 6 on Wednesday night that he’s playing with torn ligaments in his hand. Paul has also dealt with a shoulder injury and was placed in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol this postseason.

You can also get the Suns at -160 by virtue of betting the conference winner of the Finals. The Western Conference winner — aka Phoenix — is the favorite while the Eastern Conference winner is +125. You should go with the East there if you’re not confident either the Bucks or Hawks will win the series. But how can you be confident in the East winner winning the Finals if you’re not confident in who will win the East?

Avoid those two bets unless you really want to play it safe right now. The money to be made is in the exact series outcomes. With three teams still remaining in the playoffs there are four outcomes available to bet. And all four have odds better than +100.

Suns over Bucks is the favored outcome at +110 while the Bucks over Suns is at +150. If you like the latter bet, go with the Bucks at +170 straight up to win the Finals. It’s a no-brainer to take the better return given Phoenix has already won the West.

The two outcomes involving the Hawks have much bigger odds. The Suns are +450 to beat the Hawks and the Hawks are a staggering +1600 to beat the Suns. If you’re confident Trae Young can come back for Game 6 and the Hawks can win two consecutive games to win the East on the way to a Finals win, then go with the exact outcome bet in this case. There’s a +300 difference in the bets there.

Bryson’s odds drop after first round

Bryson DeChambeau is a long shot to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic after the first round.

DeChambeau shot an even-par 72 on Thursday after splitting with his longtime caddie Tim Tucker right before the round. Tucker was with DeChambeau earlier in the week and the announcement that the two had parted ways came right before the first round.

DeChambeau entered the tournament as the overwhelming favorite after a three-shot win in 2020. He was nine shots off the lead after the first round and entered the second round at +35— and the No. 15 favorite on the board. Joaquin Niemann (-7) was two shots back of the lead after the first round and has assumed favorite status entering Friday at +600.

A racing-packed Sunday

If you’re going to be inside all day on the Fourth you can occupy yourself with a lot of racing. Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR’s Cup Series all race on Sunday and at different times. All three are racing at road courses too. Formula 1 is at the Red Bull Ring in Austria while the IndyCar Series is at Mid-Ohio and NASCAR’s race weekend is at Road America in Wisconsin.

Chase Elliott is the favorite to win the Cup Series race on Sunday while Max Verstappen is the big favorite over Lewis Hamilton to win in Austria. Verstappen won in Austria a week ago to extend his points lead over Hamilton to 18.

Euro 2020 bets

The quarterfinals of Euro 2020 begin on Friday with two games. Switzerland takes on Spain at noon ET and then Belgium and Italy face off in the game of the round at 3 p.m. Italy is favored to win at +140 because of injuries to Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. Belgium would be an enticing bet if both players are healthy. But it’s going to take an incredible performance — or a poor one from the Italians — for Belgium to win that game.

There are also some enticing parlays for Friday. You can get Spain and Italy to both win in regulation at +300 — much better odds than a Spain and Belgium to advance (+175) dual bet.

You can also get frisky and pick your own score for both games on Friday. A 1-0 Switzerland win has a nice return of +1300, though the Swiss are going to be without star midfielder Granit Xhaka. A 2-1 Spain win — our pick for final score — is up to +775.

Who cashed bets on Thursday?

The significant number of bettors who backed the Bucks on Thursday night saw their bets cash as Milwaukee dominated the Hawks. Over two-thirds of the wagers and handle were on the Bucks to win. The over cashed too. The total had dropped to 214.5 without Antetokounmpo and Young available and the two teams ended up combining for 225 points. That was bad news for the 70% of bettors who took the under. Game 5 was just the second over of the series.

Bettors who had the Red Sox and the over on Thursday afternoon had an easy day with Boston’s 15-1 win over the Royals. Those who liked the underdog Rockies (+105) on the moneyline also had a nice day in Colorado’s 5-2 win over the sliding St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are 5-9 since sweeping the Miami Marlins in mid-June and have dropped to 40-42 and fourth in the NL Central.

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