Bucks vs. Suns Odds & Picks: How to Bet Based on Chris Paul’s Injury Status
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul.
- The Phoenix Suns host the hot-shooting Milwaukee Bucks on national television on Wednesday night.
- The Suns have covered in six of their last seven games, but could be without Chris Paul due to a hamstring injury.
- Austin Wang breaks down the matchup and shares his betting pick below.
Editors note: Chris Paul will return to the lineup Wednesday after missing one game with a sore hamstring.
Bucks vs. Suns Odds
|Moneyline||-167 / +138|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday afternoon and via DraftKings.|
The Phoenix Suns have been very impressive of late, winning and covering six of their last seven games. Phoenix enters Wednesday sitting fourth in the Western Conference at 14-9 record, establishing itself as a top teams.
On Wednesday evening, they will face a step up in competition against the hot-shooting Milwaukee Bucks on national television.
Milwaukee has been a force as of late, winning its last five games by an average margin of 20.8 points and covering the spread each time. In those five games, the Bucks are averaging 127.2 points with a 60.3% Effective Field Goal Percentage and average assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.51, according to NBA.com. All three of those lead in the NBA in that span.
One big question mark going into Wednesday’s game is the status of Suns point guard Chris Paul, who missed Monday’s previous game with a hamstring injury. My handicap is revolved around his availability, as the Hall of Fame point guard is crucial to his team’s success.
There has been no news released on the severity of the injury, so it leads me to think it is not serious; however, he’s also battled hamstring injuries over his career.
It is important to monitor Paul’s status with our Bet Labs Insiders tool. If he sits again on Wednesday, I see incredible value with the total in a matchup that has a potential for a lot of points.
Bucks will be missing Jrue Holiday, a two-way player that gets it done on both ends. With his absence, Bryn Forbes is the main beneficiary, providing little on the defensive end and a lot of 3-point shooting.
Khris Middleton has really stepped up this season. He has been an excellent complement to Giannis Anteokounmpo, averaging 2.6 3-pointers made per game on 5.6 attempts with a 46.5% clip from beyond the arc.
Middleton is leading the team in Offensive Win Shares (2.8) and Offensive Box Plus Minus (+4.7), per Basketball Reference. His additional usage with Holiday’s absence should bode well for the Bucks’ offense.
Entering Tuesday’s games, the Bucks are seventh in the NBA in Pace (101.88) and first in Offensive Rating (119.2), per NBA Advanced Stats.
While their Defensive Rating (109.2) entered Tuesday ranked seventh, Milwaukee has not committed to stopping the 3-point shot. The Bucks have allowed four teams to hit 20 or more 3-pointers against them this season. This is an area where the Suns can succeed, as 41.5% of their field goal attempts come from behind the arc, which is 11th in the league.
One predictive metric I found in recent performances is assist-to-turnover ratio. The Bucks have had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4, 3.1, 2.5, 4.7, 2.8 in their last five games. Since 2018, teams with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.25 or more in their two previous games are 236-164-8 (59.0%) to the over, per the Sports Data Query Language database. This is active on the Bucks.
In addition, the Bucks have gone over the total in six of their last seven games. I say ride their momentum on offense to another over.
With Paul keeping the pace slow and steady — Phoenix entered Tuesday ranked 27th in Pace (98.01) — and a strong defensive team that ranks fifth in Defensive Rating (107.7), the Suns have gone 14-8 to the under this season.
Overall, Devin Booker’s numbers have declined since last season as he is still adjusting to Paul’s arrival. With Paul out, Booker looked like he did last year, going 14-for-27 from the field with 36 points with five 3-pointers and eight assists. He took over primary ball-handling duties in Paul’s absence and thrived in that role.
Two things will happen when Paul is out: The defense will suffer and the pace will quicken. Paul is one of the toughest and smartest defenders at the point guard position. Also, as a floor general, he takes up most of the shot clock to set up the offense and create a good look for Phoenix’s shooters. Without Paul there to dictate the pace, the run-and-gun Milwaukee Bucks should keep the game uptempo.
The Suns have looked sharper on offense as well for the last two games. They’ve had a strong assist-to-turnover ratio for their last two games: 2.9 and 2.5, which means they are also active on the predictive system I shared above.
If Chris Paul misses Wednesday’s game, I am firing away on the over. Without Paul there to control the pace, I see this game being a shootout. Also, without his defensive prowess, I expect the Bucks to continue their dominance with their run-and-gun offense.
Keep your eye on the injury report, subscribe to Bet Labs Insider and turn notifications on for Action Labs injury dashboard for the latest on Paul. I like the over up to 227.5, if Paul sits.
Pick: The Over 226.5 (pending Chris Paul’s status)