NBA Finals Bucks Suns
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives to the basket between Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) and guard Chris Paul (3) during the second half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Best Bets: Finals and Fairways, July 17

I know that Game 4 of the NBA Finals was going to be the most pivotal in the series and it ended up flipping this whole thing on its head. Game 5 on Saturday night is going to headline the sports weekend and I am hoping it’s going to be everything it is hyped up to be. 

Giannis had maybe the greatest block in an NBA Finals on Wednesday night and Khris Middleton had his hero game. On the other side, Booker continues to get after it while Chris Paul legitimately looks hurt and it is concerning to see. 

I was so dead set on the Suns winning this series before it started and then they jumped out to a 2-0 lead and I just assumed this thing was over, but the Bucks are so good at home and they are building momentum while Giannis’ knee continues to strengthen. 

In Game 5, the Suns are 4.5 point favorites at home. Oh by the way, “Suns Arena” finally has a brand deal and will now be called the “Footprint Center” for Game 5 and a potential Game 7. Phoenix has been outstanding at home during the playoff stretch and to re-name a stadium right this second seems like a good way to piss off a sports-jinx god. 

Regardless, I am going to back the Bucks +4.5 in this game. I am not necessarily saying they’re going to win, but these teams are so evenly matched and if Chris Paul is truly injured, I don’t love Phoenix lying that many here. The Suns gave away the last game as Paul had nine turnovers, Booker got away with a ton of fouls, and they allowed the lead to slip away. I expect this to be a very close game from start to finish and I just feel like 4.5 is too many to give. 
A prop bet that I do like is Suns 1Q -1.5. Returning home is going to be a big boost for them. They have won three of the four first quarters in this series and I would expect them to use the momentum from their crowd and get out ahead in this game. With Ayton, Booker, and Paul all on the floor to start the first seven minutes or so, I am thinking this should be a fairly safe bet.

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Let’s move away from the court and onto the links as The Open Championship roars on. Links style golf is crazy to watch and there has already been a ton of fun storylines to keep up with from across the pond. But the one that matters for betting reasons is Jordan Spieth making his way up the leaderboard. He has the perfect kind of game for a round at Royal St. George’s where you are forced to be creative around the green. The two most important aspects in links golf is hitting the fairway and playing well around the green. 

Louis Oosthuizen has dominated so far but I am wondering if he can actually hold his neck above water and finish this thing off. I am much more interested in Spieth who is trying for his own “return to glory” moment which he could pull off if he wins a major championship. As the contest for Jordan gets underway on Saturday, his betting odds to win the tournament are at +450. That is a fun little bet in my eyes for a guy that has shown incredible consistency over the first two days on the course and it might be fun to pull the trigger on a bet like that. 

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