NBA Finals Game 4 Betting Guide: The Data Suggests Milwaukee Will Even Up the Series
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.
Phoenix Suns (+152) at Milwaukee Bucks (-180)
Spread: Milwaukee Bucks -4.5
Through three games, we've yet to have a single-digit point differential in any NBA Finals game.
However, over the full sample, this series has been tight.
The Phoenix Suns' 2-1 series lead is tied to a net rating that is now just 0.2, and it's the Bucks who have surged ahead in some key stats, including a 2.19 assist-to-turnover ratio (Phoenix is at 1.76) and a 51.4% rebounding rate.
It's the Suns who still lead in shooting efficiency (55.6% effective field goal percentage to 53.3% for the Bucks).
Where the Bucks are really carving out the rebounding edge is on the defensive glass. They've hauled in 76.1% of available defensive rebounds, which would have ranked second-best on the full season for some context. Though Phoenix was never a huge second-chance opportunity team -- entering the Finals, the Suns averaged 11.1 second-chance points per 100 possessions -- Milwaukee has limited them even more. The Suns are down to 9.5 second-chance points per 100 possessions in the Finals.
Also helping the Bucks level things out is the good turnover data. Phoenix entered the NBA Finals averaging 16.8 points per 100 possessions from turnovers (third-best in the playoffs) but have been limited to 13.9 per 100 against the Bucks.
As for some home/road trends, Phoenix's 22-point loss in Game 3 was an outlier, as they are still 6-3 in road playoff games and were the regular season's top road squad. The Suns are also 20-8 in road games this season when the spread was between five points either way.
Milwaukee, as slight home favorites (by 5.0 or fewer points) or as underdogs this season, is 10-4 this and have won nine straight such games (by an average of 11.4 points).
After their Game 3 win, the Bucks are now 8-1 in nine home playoff games, sporting a sole 3-point loss with an average point differential of 14.1 points in those games. They've covered the spread in a nice six of nine games in that sample.
But like we saw with Game 3, numberFire's model is not identifying a ton of value on this game.
There's no spread recommendation either way. The median expected score is 114.8-110.4 in favor of Milwaukee, so neither side of the spread is rating out with a positive expected return on investment. For what it's worth, the home team has covered the spread in four of five games in the season series between these two.
There is a side getting minimal moneyline love, and that's the Bucks at -180. numberFire's model likes Milwaukee to win 66.1% of the time, which narrowly outperforms the moneyline odds (64.3%). The home side is 3-2 in the season series, and home favorites in the playoffs have a 65.6% win rate with an average point differential of 7.0.
Home favorites with a spread of 6 points or tighter have a point differential of 7.5 in the playoffs with a win rate of 71.1%.
The over is the more appealing play, though, per the algo. numberFire's median point total for this game totals 225.2 points. The model predicts a 59.8% chance for this game to go over 220.5 points, leading to an expected return of 14.1%. The over is 4-0-1 in the season series.