NBA Finals action report: Bettors like favored Suns to win Game 1, series

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Before the start of the NBA conference finals, the Bucks were the odds-on favorites to win their first title in 50 years. Two weeks later, they're clear underdogs against the surging Suns - and bettors are laying the chalk so far.

Phoenix opened as the -175 favorite to win this championship series, but a run of public money has pushed that price to -200. Even at such a hefty price, the Suns had drawn twice as many tickets to win as of late Tuesday afternoon, according to Jay Rood, Bet.Works' chief risk officer and theScore Bet's head trader.

Public bettors also like Phoenix to win convincingly at home in the first game of the series. The line for Game 1 has bounced between -5.5 and -6 in favor of the Suns, who enter Tuesday evening pulling twice as many bet slips. The handle has been split on both sides, suggesting a small lean toward the Bucks among big-money bettors.

Those numbers could skew further toward Milwaukee if Giannis Antetokounmpo - who's listed as questionable for Tuesday's contest - can return after missing the Bucks' last two games with a knee injury. The last time Milwaukee gave at least 5.5 points with Antetokounmpo in the lineup was 2018; it hasn't happened in the playoffs since 2015.

"I think we will see late money from the public on the Bucks," Rood said. "For both the game and the series."

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at cjackson.cowart@thescore.com.

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NBA Finals action report: Bettors like favored Suns to win Game 1, series
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