THE Phoenix Suns are the early betting favorites to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks and win the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals.

The Suns opened at -175 at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, with the Bucks at +150. PointsBet (-180), DraftKings (-177) and BetMGM (-165) all concurred that Phoenix should be installed as the favorite.

In an NBA postseason characterized by injuries to one of nearly every team’s top players, the Suns have reached the Finals relatively unscathed, save for two games that Chris Paul missed due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Suns’ status as favorites can be seen at least in part as a reflection of the uncertainty surrounding Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who missed Games 5 and 6 of the Eastern Conference finals with a hyperextended left knee suffered in Game 4.

The two-time league MVP watched from the sideline as Khris Middleton, Jrue Holliday and Brook Lopez led Milwaukee to a 4-2 series win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bucks are playing in their first NBA Finals since 1974 and seek the franchise’s second NBA title after winning in 1971. The Suns, led by Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, are in search of their first title in franchise history; it’s their first appearance in the Finals since 1993.

The series tips off in Phoenix on Tuesday, with Antetokounmpo’s status still unknown. — Reuters