The rich are getting richer in Phoenix, and that’s good news for sports betting in Arizona.
After earning consecutive wins over the Clippers to begin the Western Conference Finals, the Phoenix Suns could get back All-NBA point guard Chris Paul for Game 3 on Thursday at Los Angeles.
Paul, who averaged 25.5 points and 10.3 assists in a second-round sweep of the Denver Nuggets, was ruled out indefinitely and placed in NBA coronavirus health and safety protocols on June 16, four days before Game 1 at Phoenix.
Paul missed that game — a 120-114 Suns victory — and Tuesday’s thrilling Game 2 victory over a Clippers team missing its own All-Star in Kawhi Leonard.
That combination of the Suns going up 2-0 and now getting their Hall of Fame point guard back has shortened Phoenix’s 2021 NBA title odds to +110 at DraftKings sportsbook, tied with the Milwaukee Bucks in the East. They’re the prohibitive favorites in the West — the Clippers are +1000 — as they look to win the first championship in franchise history.
The Suns are -1000 to win the Western Conference finals on BetMGM.
Suns on an historic roll
A May 27 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers felt like the beginning of the end for the Suns. They trailed the defending champions 2-1 with an upcoming Game 4 in Staples Center.
Paul was nursing a shoulder injury that had limited him to seven points and six assists in 28 uninspiring minutes, and the Lakers were finally healthy.
But everything changed in Game 4. Anthony Davis suffered a groin strain in the first half and the Suns pulled away in the second half to earn a 100-92 victory.
Beginning with that May 30 win, the Suns have now won nine straight playoff games — the 10th longest postseason win streak in NBA history — by an average of 13.4 points, with five of those victories coming by double digits.
What’s more, the Suns have gone 8-1 ATS in those games, with Tuesday’s buzzer-beating dunk from Deandre Ayton the only time Phoenix failed to cover during this streak.
Those wins (and covers) have come against the defending-champion Lakers (three wins), the reigning MVP in Nikola Jokci and the Nuggets (four wins), and against a Clippers team without Paul (two wins).
Suns’ Title Odds Continue To Improve
Naturally, the Suns’ title odds have continued to shorten as they’ve built momentum, racked up wins, and advanced in the postseason.
Paul’s injury and the Lakers taking advantage early in Round 1 saw the Suns’ title odds soar to as high as +6000 on DraftKings, but the Davis injury and Paul’s rejuvenation in Game 4 shrunk those odds to just +1600. After knocking off the Lakers in six games, their title odds were just +650, trailing only the Nets and Bucks in the East and the top-seeded Jazz in the West.
After disposing of the Nuggets in four games, Phoenix’s title odds shrunk to just +375, trailing only the high-octane Brooklyn Nets — who were tied 2-2 with the Bucks in Round 2 at the time. When Milwaukee earned victories in Games 6 and 7, Phoenix saw a slight jump in their title odds to just +275.
Though the Suns’ title odds fluctuated some when the news broke of Paul entering protocol, they weren’t too severely impacted considering the Clippers were missing Leonard and Paul’s return was imminent.
Now they stand just two wins away from their first Finals appearance since 1993 and should only see their odds improve as they continue to rack up victories.