Before the 2020-21 season started, the Milwaukee Bucks were among the favorites to win the NBA title while the Phoenix Suns are far from it. Seven months later, it's now the Suns who are ahead, albeit only slightly.
According to the latest NBA Finals odds by Caesars Sportsbook (via ESPN), the Suns are considered the favorites to lift this year's Larry O'Brien trophy. With Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton leading the way and all relatively healthy, they have been given the advantage over a Bucks team that could miss the services of Giannis Antetokounmpo in the opening games due to a knee injury.
The odds to win the #NBAFinals, according to Caesars Sportsbook 👀
Who ya got? pic.twitter.com/KoyE6iu5g6
— ESPN (@espn) July 4, 2021
Meanwhile, as reported earlier, Chris Paul heads to his first NBA Finals as the odds-on favorite to win the MVP award. While that could also be because of Giannis Antetokounmpo's absence, there is no denying CP3 will be the x-factor for the Suns if they are to be the last team standing this July.
Giannis, for his part, is only third on the NBA Finals MVP odds, with Devin Booker coming in behind Paul.
Odds for NBA Finals MVP are out ahead of Game 1, via @SportsBettingAG:
– Favorite: Chris Paul (+130)
– Devin Booker (+230)
– Giannis (+325)
– Khris Middleton (+600)
– Jrue Holiday (+1000)
– Deandre Ayton (+2500)
– Brook Lopez (+8000)
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) July 5, 2021
To be fair, the Suns-Bucks game can be viewed as an evenly matched showdown. While the uncertainty of Giannis gives Phoenix the advantage, it is worth noting that Milwaukee won their last two games without the Greek Freak. Khris Middleton has stepped up big time for the Cream City squad so far, and he is expected to do so again with or without his All-Star partner.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals starts Tuesday at the Phoenix Suns Arena, and just a day after celebrating the Fourth of July, fans can expect fireworks to go off right from the start of the game.