Home court has been huge in NBA Finals

OK, now provide us 3 more NBA Finals video games like the one we simply saw. 

We lastly got a traditional from the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns in Video Game 4. Devin Booker was extraordinary, Khris Middleton was clutch and Giannis Antetokounmpo had a block that is more astounding whenever you see the replay. The Bucks won 109-103 and we have a series. The Bucks and Suns are connected at 2-2. 

The Bucks and Suns resume play on Saturday night for Video game 5. The series moves back to Phoenix, and home-court benefit has actually been substantial in the series, and to the chances. Phoenix is -4 at BetMGM, a 9-point shift from the closing line for Video game 4. 

The house group has actually covered in every video game this series. The very first 3 video games, the house group covered quickly. In Video game 4, Phoenix wagerers got unfortunate. Suns +5 looked safe the majority of the night. Phoenix led the majority of the video game and hardly ever routed by much. The Suns had the ball routing by 2 with less than 30 seconds left when a Chris Paul turnover resulted in a breakout and a layup. The Bucks struck all their complimentary tosses and won by 6. However no matter if it was lucky, the house group cashed another ticket. 

In this era, across all sports, house-field advantage seems to be lessened. It’s almost gone in the NFL. But the NBA Finals has been different. The crowds of both historically beleaguered franchises have been incredible. Being a part of sold-out arenas after a year of sitting at home seems to be a factor. Officiating is usually the biggest difference for home teams. In Game 3, the game turned against the Suns when Deandre Ayton got in foul trouble. Devin Booker’s foul trouble in Game 4 was a factor (though everyone freaked out when officials ignored his sixth foul in the fourth quarter). 

We’ll see what Game 5 brings. Paul wasn’t great in Milwaukee but will presumably rebound in Game 5 at home. The Bucks haven’t been close in the second half of either game in Phoenix. The Suns have seemed very comfortable there. Phoenix will get a friendly whistle back at home. Let’s take the Suns to defend home court and cover on Saturday. Then we’ll probably do the same dance for Game 6 when the series shifts back to Milwaukee. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo's block on Deandre Ayton was the play of the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s block on Deandre Ayton was the play of the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Here’s the first look at the betting slate for the weekend: 

OK, now can MLB return? 

There was a false start for baseball on Thursday, when the only game on the schedule was postponed. The New York Yankees had some positive COVID tests, and their game against the Red Sox had to be canceled. 

While hoping that doesn’t start an outbreak in the sport, there are 17 games on the schedule including a Marlins-Phillies doubleheader. Yankees-Red Sox is still on the schedule and it is a huge series, even if other news is overshadowing that. The Red Sox are small -115 favorites at BetMGM. 

It’ll be nice to have baseball back after some days off. 

What are the best MLB games on the slate? 

The best under-the-radar series of the weekend might be a three-game set between the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers and a hard-charging Cincinnati Reds group. The Reds are four games back and this series is big in the race. Every other team is eight games back of the Brewers in the division. 

The Houston Astros are -140 favorites as they start the second half at the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox have actually the best record in the AL, but not by much and the Astros are huge favorites at Chicago to start the second half. This could be an ALCS preview. 

What else is going on this weekend? 

The British Open is happening, though the time distinction makes it an odd viewing experience for Americans. Collin Morikawa was among the golfers off to a huge start on Friday, and there are some recognizable names high on the leaderboard. It should be a great weekend for the final major of the year. 

The NBA Finals is Saturday. Baseball is back in full swing. The US Men’s National Team plays a soccer match Sunday in the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and are -120 favorites on the three-way line at BetMGM against Canada. 

Not a bad weekend after a few light days. 

What’s the best bet? 

While it’s hard to pinpoint anything with many MLB groups yet to announce their starting rotation to begin the 2nd half, I like the Seattle Mariners as a +120 underdog at the Los Angeles Angels. The Mariners have actually been a bit under the radar all season, it’s not a Shohei Ohtani day to pitch, and I don’t know that the Mariners must be underdogs. 

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.