Antetokounmpo May Be A ‘No’ As Bucks Face Long Odds In NBA Finals

Written By Russ Mitchell on July 6, 2021 - Last Updated on March 15, 2024
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Good news! The Bucks have avoided oncoming opponents along the NBA Playoff highway so far. They’re in the NBA Finals.

Bad news! Milwaukee may have to start their trip to the championship forest without their best player. Giannis Antetokounmpo has a hyperextended left knee. He’s questionable for Game 1 when Milwaukee plays the Suns tonight at 8 p.m. ABC has the game.

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John Sheeran, the director of risk and trading at FanDuel Sportsbook, said Antetokounmpo’s absence shifts odds in the direction of Phoenix by “three to four” points.

Bucks vs. Suns odds in Game 1 of the NBA Finals

Antetokounmpo was injured in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Atlanta. Milwaukee won the series in six games. Sheeran said sportsbooks have to plan for an absent or ineffective star when setting lines for the NBA Finals.

“It obviously makes our job a lot more difficult when we’ve got uncertainty, but it’s nothing new. Injuries happen in pro sports all the time. And, the amount of information we get about the true health can be convoluted. So, we’re used to trying to read between the lines.”

Sheeran and FanDuel assume Antetokounmpo won’t be a factor in the best-of-seven series.

“I think our general view is, it’s probably unlikely we see him. I we think it’s probably worse than what we’ve been led to believe.”

A healthy Giannis would have been favored to win NBA Finals MVP. Subjective awards like the MVP trophy aren’t approved wagers in Iowa but here’s what FanDuel’s MVP market looks like in other states:

Bet Count — Finals MVP

  1. Chris Paul – 15.6%
  2. Devin Booker – 11.5%
  3. Deandre Ayton – 10.2%
  4. Khris Middleton – 8.5%
  5. Giannis Antetokounmpo – 7.1%

Handle — Finals MVP

  1. Chris Paul
  2. Devin Booker
  3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  4. Khris Middleton
  5. Deandre Ayton

Sheeran said:

“That gives you good context about how likely we think he is to come back and what sort of capability he would have should he get back.”

NBA Finals odds

How to bet on the Bucks or Suns

FanDuel has three different promotions in place for customers in Iowa to bet on the NBA Finals:

  • New customers can place a $5 bet on any NBA Finals game moneyline and receive a +3000 payout with a win.
  • Customers who place a moneyline bet of $25 or more can win a $10 site bonus if the bettor’s team rallies from a halftime deficit.
  • FanDuel in Iowa has a 3+ leg parlay special. Customers get a $10 site credit if their parlay of +400 or more doesn’t pan out.

As with any promotion, it’s important to go through the rules and conditions. Make sure the promo is in place when finalizing the bet slip.

More betting options

DraftKings Sportsbook in Iowa offers a Suns odds boost (at +100) for tonight’s Game 1.

The maximum betting amount at the special moneyline is $25. Make sure to select the odds boost in your bet slip before placing the wager. Without the odds boost (and for anything beyond the first $25), Suns odds were -265 at DK on Tuesday afternoon.

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At +300, William Hill in Iowa is going with a Bucks odds “Super Boost” for the first $25 of a bet. Otherwise the moneyline is +230.

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BetMGM Sportsbook in Iowa has a $25 “bonus token” for Game 1. If the customer loses on a one-game parlay wager they’ll get up to $25 back in bonus bets. With another promo, BetMGM offers overtime insurance protection. Customers can get $20 in free wagers back if the team they bet on loses in overtime.

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NBA Finals betting schedule

ABC has the NBA Finals this year. Here’s a look at the times and dates for all seven games (if necessary). Games are at 8 p.m. unless noted:

  1. Tuesday — Bucks at Suns
  2. Thursday — Bucks at Suns
  3. Sunday — Suns at Bucks (at 7 p.m.)
  4. Wednesday, July 14 — Suns at Bucks
  5. Saturday, July 17 (if necessary) — Bucks at Suns
  6. Tuesday, July 20 (if necessary) — Suns at Bucks
  7. Thursday, July 22 (if necessary) — Bucks at Suns

Iowa may be best destination for Wisconsin fans to bet on Bucks

Wisconsin is poised to add sports betting, but legal wagering won’t arrive in time for the NBA Finals.

Gov. Tony Evers and Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill signed a July 1 compact that will expand tribal gambling in Wisconsin to include sports wagers.

In the meantime, Wisconsin residents can register and legally bet on games from any time they visit the Hawkeye state. We can help Iowa visitors and residents find the best online sportsbooks in Iowa.

As for Wisconsin, the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has a 45-day window to review the amendment.

Gov. Evers said:

“I’m grateful to Chairman Hill and the Oneida General Tribal Council for their partnership on this historic compact amendment. The Oneida Casino is a critical source of revenue and employment for Oneida Nation and this expansion will bring new opportunities for employment and revenue growth to the Tribe.”

If the BIA approves the compact amendment, the Oneida Nation would be able to allow event wagering at Oneida Casino in Green Bay.

The compact amendment allows for additional locations as well, but bets could take place only on land owned by the Oneida Nation or held in trust for the Nation by the federal government. The Oneida land would need to contain a commercial building owned or leased by the Nation.

Wisconsin and the Oneida Nation hope to offer event wagering in time for football season.

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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

View all posts by Russ Mitchell