|-2.5 MIL (-118) @ Betamerica|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Mil Bucks at 8:10 ET.
One wondered if the Suns' 8-0 SU & ATS run in the NBA 'bubble' last season was a window into the future. That question has been emphatically answered, as the Suns will snap their 10-season playoff drought in the 2020-21 season. Phoenix is 40-16, the NBA's second-best record (Utah is 1 1/2 games ahead with the NBA's and West's top record) The Suns open a five-game road swing Monday night when they play the Eastern Conference's third-place team, the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks owned the NBA's best regular season record in each of the last two regular seasons (116-39 combined, for a .748 win percentage) but the current season has been erratic. Milwaukee trails the East's top team (Philly) by four games and is 2 1/2-games back of second-place Brooklyn. The Bucks welcome the Suns (owners of the NBA's best record at 17-7) to Fiserv Forum having lost FOUR consecutive home games!
The Suns have won 11 of their last 13 games, although the Suns had a four-game winning streak snapped Saturday in a 111-85 loss to San Antonio (26-point blowout marks Phoenix's worst loss of the season). Phoenix has leaned on its backcourt duo of Booker (25.5-4.1-4.5) and Paul (15.6-4.6-8.7) all season but since scoring 29 points in an overtime win over NBA-leading Utah on April 7, Paul has not scored more than 13 points in Phoenix's SIX subsequent games. However, center Deandre Ayton has had at least 18 points in SIX of his seven games since April 5, before finishing with just eight against San Antonio. Ayton is averaging 15.1 & 10.8 on the season with 30 double-doubles.
Milwaukee has EIGHT players contributing regularly, SIX averaging in double digits (Forbes just misses at 9.7). Giannis (28.4-112.-6.1) leads the way, followed by SF Middleton (20.1-6.1-5.6) and PG Holiday (17.2-4.5-5.5). The Bucks had scored 120 points or more over a three-game winning streak heading into their 128-115 loss Saturday against Memphis. Despite the defeat, all five Milwaukee starters scored in double figures. Two-time reigning Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo was productive in his second game back from a six-game absence due to a knee injury, getting 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Both teams are off losses but the Suns lost by 26. Normally, I'd stay away from going against Phoenix off that blowout loss but this contest HAS to be one the Bucks have 'circled.' Milwaukee NEEDS to get back on the winning track at home (four consecutive home losses are unacceptable!) plus the Bucks can't possibly forget their 125-124 loss in Phoenix back on Feb 10. Booker had 30 points and Chris Paul added 28 points and seven assists in that one, while Antetokounmpo scored 47 points. However, he didn't get much help. Bucks are the bet in this one!