The obvious major question hanging over the 2021 NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns is when Bucks star and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo might be able to return from his knee injury. Clearly, oddsmakers don't think the Greek Freak is playing in Game 1 Tuesday night in the desert because the Suns are 6-point favorites on the NBA odds at William Hill Sportsbook. They would not be that heavily favored if Giannis was healthy. In addition, the site isn't listing any player props for Giannis, who is officially doubtful.
For what it's worth, Antetokounmpo was excused from media availability on Monday due to his "uncertain status." He went down in Game 4 of the East Finals against Atlanta. The Bucks were just 6-5 in the regular season in games that Giannis missed but then beat the Hawks by double digits in Games 5 and 6 without the Freak. He is averaging 28.2 points on 55.1 percent shooting this postseason along with 11.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists.
Antetokounmpo is a +375 third favorite at William Hill to win NBA Finals MVP, behind Phoenix's Chris Paul (+170), who is playing through partially torn ligaments in his right hand, and Devin Booker (+260). It's very rare when a star DOESN'T win NBA Finals MVP. The last non-superstar to win it was Golden State's Andre Iguodala in 2015.
Phoenix was 2-0 vs. Milwaukee this season, winning each game by one point. Giannis averaged 40.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the two. Khris Middleton averaged 22.0 points and has an Over/Under of 25.5 points for this one. Jrue Holiday missed one of the games.
Booker averaged 27.0 points in the season series and is set at 28.5 points for this one. Paul averaged 25.0 points and is set at 20.5 points.
On the series line, the Suns are -200 and Bucks +175. The favored exact result is Phoenix, which has yet to win an NBA title, in seven games at +380. On the total number of games prop, both six and seven are +190 favorites. The Suns, Jazz, Nets and Magic are the only franchises to have reached at least two NBA Finals without a championship.
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