This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Suns to win (-222) vs MIL – BetMGM (1:27 PM CT)
It's tough to confidently take any prop bets with Giannis questionable, so I'm just going with something simple – the assumption Phoenix will win Game 1 at home. Even if Giannis plays, I still think the Suns have the advantage, as he'd be less than 100 percent, and that could mess up Milwaukee's rhythm. The Bucks at least have the pieces to slow down Phoenix – Holiday on Paul, Middleton on Booker, Lopez on Ayton – but I don't anticipate it working out in the first game of the series.
Cameron Johnson OVER 1.5 made three-pointers vs. MIL – DraftKings (12:19 PM CT)
Johnson has shot the ball well throughout the playoffs, but the volume simply hasn't been there. He's taking only 3.4 threes per game, despite hitting at a 45 percent clip. As a bench player for a team flush with scoring options, that's to be expected, but I like his chances to hit multiple threes against a Bucks defense that isn't afraid to give up open looks.
Suns -6.5 vs. MIL – DraftKings
Assuming Giannis doesn't play, I really like the Suns' chances to jump out to a 1-0 lead at home. They showed some chinks in the armor against the Clippers, but other than Games 4 and 5, Phoenix has been the best and most consistent team in the playoffs wire-to-wire. Milwaukee (finally) showed some resiliency in Games 5 and 6 against Atlanta, but Milwaukee has been wildly inconsistent, and the fact remains that they're simply not a good three-point shooting team (31.1% for the playoffs). The Hawks weren't a strong enough challenger to make the Bucks pay for some of their mistakes, but Phoenix will absolutely be able to capitalize if Milwaukee's role players continue to clank open threes. Take away Giannis from the equation, and it's hard not to see the Suns as the heavy favorite.
P.J. Tucker OVER 5.5 Rebounds (-134) at PHO – FanDuel (11:51 AM CT)
Throughout the playoffs so far, Tucker has posted 5.2 rebounds a game, and in the Bucks' last two games (in which Giannis Antetokounmpo didn't play) Tucker logged 9.5 rebounds per game. In Tucker's last six games, he's recorded at least seven rebounds in all except for one game. With Antetokounmpo likely out, it will be critical for the Bucks to crash the glass and rebound against a top-five rebounding team in the Suns. I believe Tucker will step up and continue to produce much-needed boards for his team.