NBA

NBA Finals Game 3 Betting Guide: Can Milwaukee Avoid an 0-3 Deficit?

Betting on the NBA can get a little overwhelming throughout the season because there are games every day, and there's just a lot to track throughout the season and entering every night -- spreads, over/unders, injuries, and so on.

But you can rely on numberFire to help. We have a detailed betting algorithm that projects out games to see how often certain betting lines hit, and our oddsFire section of the site allows you to track movement in those lines and see where the action is coming from on particular games.

Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's games? (All odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.)

Phoenix Suns (+152) at Milwaukee Bucks (-180)

Spread: Milwaukee Bucks -4.0
Total: 221.5

The Bucks sure need a win. Down 0-2 in the series, Milwaukee is getting some home-court love from FanDuel Sportsbook as -180 favorites.

Their raw net rating in the Finals thus far is pretty damning for the Bucks (-10.6), and it's worse yet when adjusting for garbage time (-11.9).

There are some reasons to assume that could balance out back in Milwaukee, but the first two games are pretty problematic for Milwaukee.

The Bucks do trail only slightly in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.00 to 1.83) and lead in rebounding rate (50.8% to 49.2%). They just aren't shooting well, though that's not necessarily a new development.

Their NBA Finals true shooting percentage is only 53.7%, and the Phoenix Suns' mark is 61.0%.

Before assuming that'll correct, we should note that the Bucks' playoff true shooting percentage is just 54.6%, and Phoenix's is 58.6%.

As for some game-level trends, the Bucks are 7-1 in 8 home playoff games with an average point differential of 13.1 and a lone loss by 3 points.

In 13 home games this full season when the Bucks were at home but favored only slightly (by 5.0 points or fewer), they have a 9-4 record with an average point differential of 5.2 and losses by 1, 5, 6, and 7.

Problematically for the Bucks' strong home splits, the Suns have traveled really well this season, finishing with the best regular-season road record (24-12).

They're 6-2 in the playoffs on the road, too.

In total, the Suns have an average point differential of 3.0 in road games and have covered in 25 of 44 such games (56.8%). They're also 10-3 as road underdogs.

As for numberFire's algorithm, it doesn't identify a lot of value in this game overall, citing the Bucks' moneyline as just a one-star recommendation out of five. Our algorithm sees them as 65.8% likely to win, which only barely outperforms the moneyline for a 2.3% expected return.

The model makes no recommendations as far as the spread goes. No side is north of a 48.3% chance to cover, per numberFire's algorithm.

The algo does like the over most of all, rating it as a two-star recommendation out of five. The median expected point total in this game is 225.2 points, and the over is 57.8% likely to hit. That suggests a 10.4% expected return.

It's worth noting that all four of the Bucks/Suns matchups so far this season hit the over. The regular season games got there by 20 and 23 points. The two Finals games went over by 3.5 and 5 points.

It's an efficient money line and spread, according to the model, so we should prioritize the over for Game 3.