- The Milwaukee Bucks have listed Giannis Antetokounmpo as Doubtful for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
- The Bucks will need to rely on Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday instead.
- The two of them have been amazing since Giannis went down.
PHOENIX - The Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns will face off in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.
The Suns are favorites entering the matchup, especially as Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as Doubtful after hyperextending his knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Antetkounmpo’s status is a keystone of the series, and in Game 1, it seems entirely plausible that he sits.
Giannis Antetokounmpo listed doubtful for Game 1 of Bucks-Suns NBA Finals.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 6, 2021
This makes some strategic sense - try to steal one game in Phoenix without him, then bring him back for the home games, maybe for Game 2.
Given this, the Suns are significant favorites on the moneyline in Game 1, with -240 odds to win the game.
This might seem like a foregone conclusion - the Bucks playing without their superstar, the Suns with extra rest to come out swinging.
However, for sports bettors, there’s no lack of intrigue in this Game 1 matchup, as prop betting means that there are moneymaking opportunities on nearly every aspect of the game.
With Giannis out, the majority of the star power on the Bucks rests in two men: Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton.
Both of them delivered in a big way with Giannis out against the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Let’s see what the online sportsbooks have to say about the odds that they can deliver in a big way again in Game 1 of the Finals.
Total Points, Rebounds And Assists - Jrue Holiday
- Over 37.5 -115
- Under 37.5 -115
Jrue Holiday has played two games in the playoffs without Giannis Antetokounmpo on the floor from the jump.
In those two games, he was electric. In the first, he put up 25 points, 13 assists and six rebounds, and in the second, he put up 27 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds.
Both of those statlines would blow the Over/Under line for his total points, rebounds and assists out of the water.
- J. Holiday To Have 20+ Points And 5+ Total Rebounds -130
The Phoenix Suns are a very different team than the Atlanta Hawks, however, and this could be an intriguing game for Jrue.
Total Points, Rebounds And Assists - Khris Middleton (MIL) (NBA)
- Over 41.5 -120
- Under 41.5 -110
Jrue’s running mate, Khris Middleton, was spectacular for about two quarters of the last two games in the Eastern Conference Finals, but was fairly pedestrian otherwise.
However, he was so good when he was good that he was probably the biggest difference in the series.
The online sportsbooks are giving him that respect, with a total points, rebounds and assists O/U line of 41.5
In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Middleton dropped 26 points with 8 assists and 13 rebounds. In Game 6, he put up 32 points with 7 assists and 4 rebounds.
Both of those games would put him well above the O/U line that was set for him in Game 1 of the Finals.
- K. Middleton & J. Holiday 70+ Pts Combined +1200
The two of them have not managed to combine for 70+ points in the two games they’ve played without Giannis, but they aren’t incredibly far off.
In Game 5 of the ECF, they combined for 51, and in Game 6, they combined for 59. They have a ways to go before they can plausibly hit 70, but it’s not off the table. Let’s just say there’s a reason that the odds on this prop are +1200.
Online gambling fans can wager on these props at the online sportsbooks. Game 1 of the NBA Finals will be broadcast on ABC at 9 p.m. EST.