Led by Chris Paul, the Phoenix Suns jumped out to an early lead in their NBA Finals matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks. Now, they look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead before the scene shifts to Milwaukee this weekend.
With several intriguing matchups from which to choose, let’s take a look at our favorite Bucks vs. Suns NBA Finals Game 2 betting prop pick. This selection focuses on Suns guard Chris Paul.
Bucks vs. Suns Player Prop Bet Pick (Game 2)
Chris Paul Under 22.5 Points (FanDuel Sportsbook -118)
Paul scored or assisted on 54 points in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the third highest such tally in a player’s Finals debut in NBA history. Paul’s effort trails just Allen Iverson (61) and Michael Jordan (60).
His heroic Game 1 performance with 32 points and nine assists, on the heels of his 41-point outburst in Game 6 of the Clippers series, helped the Suns grab an early series lead.
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The Phoenix point guard shot a combined 28-43 (65.1%) from the field, 11-15 (73.3%) from deep, and 6-7 (85.7%) from the foul stripe his last two games, which are certainly prolific numbers. Yet, despite such incredible outputs, we think we may be due for a more tempered scoring evening from the future Hall of Famer.
For starters, we know Paul is going to max out around 37-39 minutes of playing time. He has averaged 33.1 minutes per game in the Playoffs and has a serviceable backup in Cameron Payne who can offer quality minutes off the bench. In fact, Chris Paul has not played more than 40 minutes in any game this postseason and only did so twice during the regular season, both in overtime games.
In 15 postseason games thus far, Paul has only topped this prop’s point total four times, currently averaging 19.0 points per game during the NBA Playoffs, to go with his 16.4 ppg from the regular season. Clearly, the number is inflated due to his recent scoring outbursts, but the fact remains that Paul only scored 23+ points in 12 of 70 regular season games. So, across the entire season, he would have cashed this prop just 18.8% of the time.
He shot 60% or better from the field three times in consecutive games this season, scoring 7, 12, and 29 points in his next contest. The 29-point effort came in one of the aforementioned overtime games, in which he logged 43 minutes, a number we already demonstrated he is wholly unlikely to reach tonight.
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He had not scored 30+ points in back-to-back games all season until now, but struggled to score even after consecutive games with 24+ points. He had three such instances throughout the season and followed them up with 10, 15, and 16 point nights, none nowhere close to what he needs to cash this prop.
The Suns played Game 1 following the long layoff after closing out the Clippers in six games. In Paul’s second game following an off-period of three of more days this season, he scored 13, 13, 8, 6, 17, and 18 points. That’s an average of just 12.5 points per game, with none of those efforts coming even close to what he would need to ruin this prop bet.
Paul averages less minutes (30.5) and points (15.9) per game at home this season than on the road. One day of rest has not served him well, either, as he scores just 14.4 points per game, by far his worst output on any rest period. And, despite his recent scoring barrages in important Phoenix victories, Paul actually scores less in his team’s wins than its losses, showing up more prevalently as a distributor in the wins.
With Milwaukee possessing a tremendous one-on-one defender in Jrue Holiday and being able to utilize the length of another plus defender in Khris Middleton on Devin Booker, expect the Bucks to be able to find ways to force the ball out of Paul’s hands tonight. His scoring should slip back into the teens, making this a sweat-free prop winner.
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