An unexpected NBA Finals matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns should bring with it plenty of betting action. While big money is expected to come in on the sides and total of Game 1, player prop bet markets figure to be quite active as well.
With several intriguing matchups from which to choose, let’s take a look at our favorite Bucks vs. Suns NBA Finals Game 1 betting prop pick. This selection dials in on Suns forward Jae Crowder.
Bucks vs. Suns Player Prop Bet Pick (Game 1)
Jae Crowder Over 17.5 Total Points, Rebounds & Assists (FanDuel Sportsbook -128)
We believe Suns forward Jae Crowder is poised for a key role in Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight. Ironically, Crowder has averaged precisely 17.5 combined points, rebounds, and assists thus far in the NBA Playoffs. However, we don’t think this wager will be a nail-biter.
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To begin, Crowder is the only player on either team with NBA Finals experience with his six games against the Lakers as a member of the Miami Heat last summer. That was entirely within a neutral bubble setting, but tonight he will have the added edge of being at the Phoenix Suns Arena in front of a true home crowd. He should play with an innate confidence built on having been in this spot before, while also knowing those around him have not.
We think he will rise to the occasion as a leader in this one, contributing on all fronts and making short work of this prop total. This stance of the stage not being too big for the Suns’ wing really takes hold when you look at his performances in big games for Phoenix throughout this postseason.
In three Game 1s this postseason, Crowder averaged 18.7 combined points, rebounds, and assists, while also seeing his minutes increase in each game. In the three closeout games, Crowder posted point-rebound-assist totals of 26, 20, and 25, good for a 23.7 average. And in pivotal Game 4 of the Lakers series, the only time Phoenix trailed in a series during the playoffs, Crowder played 35 minutes, tallying 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, easily topping this prop’s number with that combined sum of 28.
Crowder has been great at home all season long, averaging three more points, a full rebound, and nearly a full more made 3-pointer in Phoenix than he has on the road.
Notably, he is averaging four more minutes of court time during the postseason than he logged during the regular season, so he should have no problem improving upon the 18.7 combined points, rebounds, and assists he posted per game on this court before the playoffs.
He was also a far more involved contributor in aspects other than scoring when on long rest this season, like Phoenix is entering tonight’s contest. Crowder posted his best rebounding (7.0 per game) and assist (3.2) averages on 3+ days of rest this season.
Hitting those averages tonight would leave him needing just eight points to cash this prop, a scoring total he hit in all but two games during the Suns’ postseason run.
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Crowder Has Done It Before
Crowder eclipsed the 17.5 combined points, rebounds, and assists required for this prop 25 times in his 60 regular season games. He also had another seven games in which his points-rebounds-assists tally was exactly 17. With those four extra minutes of court time this postseason, those 17s would almost assuredly have ended up producing one extra point, rebound, or assist to hit our marker here.
In his one meeting with Milwaukee on this court during the regular season, Crowder posted a season-high in rebounds with 14 as part of a combined 22 points-rebounds-assists night.
Seeing the success the athletic Hawks’ wings had on the glass against Milwaukee leaves us confident that Crowder will be due for another big night here in Game 1.
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