The NBA Playoffs continue on Wednesday as the Miami Heat (44-38) visit the Milwaukee Bucks (58-24) for the second game in the Eastern Conference first round. Action tips off at 9:00 p.m. ET. Miami holds a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series thanks to their 130-117 win in game one. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Heat-Bucks prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Here are the Heat-Bucks NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Playoffs Odds: Heat-Bucks Odds
Miami Heat: +8.5 (-106)
Milwaukee Bucks: -8.5 (-114)
Over: 222 (-110)
Under: 222 (-110)
How To Watch Heat vs. Bucks
TV: NBA TV
Stream: NBA TV
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Heat Could Cover The Spread
ATS Record: 32-50-3 (39%)
Over Record: 42-43 (49%)
Miami shocked the league when they upset Milwaukee in game one. The league’s lowest-scoring offense dropped 130 points on the road against the Bucks’ stellar defense. That was despite losing third-leading scorer Tyler Herro to an injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the series and perhaps the season. While losing Hero hurts their chances going forward, they showed the ability to succeed without him. Additionally, Miami battled Milwaukee during the regular season – splitting the series 2-2. Although the Heat output a disappointing season, their elite defense and savvy veterans give them a strong chance to cover as big underdogs again in game two.
After questions about whether or not Jimmy Butler still had enough in the tank to carry a team in the playoffs, Butler exploded in game one. The four-time All-NBA wing scored 35 points and dished out 11 assists in the win. He finished a team-best +17 from the floor in his 43 minutes as the Bucks had no answer for him. Milwaukee struggled to defend opposing wings during the regular season and thus he should continue to find success in game two.
The X-factor for the Heat is their guard play. Both Gabe Vincent and Max Strus figure to take on larger roles in the wake of Herro’s injury. They were solid in game one – combining for 23 points and eight assists. That being said, the Heat won’t drop 130 on the Bucks every game going forward. Between the two sharpshooters, they’re going to need to find a way to replace Herro’s 20 PPG.
Why The Bucks Could Cover The Spread
ATS Record: 42-34-6 (56%)
Over Record: 43-40 (52%)
Milwaukee suffered a massive upset in game one as the 8.5-point favorites dropped the opener by 13 points. Things were already looking rough for the Bucks before star Giannis Antetokounmpo exited with a back injury. That being said, there were some positive takeaways despite the result as a number of role players stepped up in Giannis’ absence. Still, the Bucks find themselves facing a 0-1 deficit. Despite that, they still hold a strong chance to cover as heavy favorites in a must-win game two.
With Giannis playing just 11 minutes in game one it forced the Bucks to look elsewhere for offensive production. In the long run, Giannis’ injury could prove a blessing in disguise if Kris Middleton continues to perform. Middleton didn’t look the same this season as he was limited to just 33 games recovering from an injury last season. After eclipsing 20 PPG in four of his previous five seasons, he averaged a measly 15.1 PPG on a career-low 43.6% shooting. However, he showed flashes of the old Middleton in game one – scoring 33 points on 12/20 shooting. His outside shot looked especially effective as he nailed 7/10 threes after shooting 32% during the regular season. While Middleton can’t be expected to drop 30 every game, a return anywhere close to his pre-injury form could be a difference-maker.
With Giannis’ status remaining up in the air for game two, the Bucks need Jrue Holiday to step into the primary role. The veteran point guard output arguably his best season as a Buck by averaging 19.3 PPG and 7.4 APG. He was solid in game one – scoring 16 points and dishing out an eye-popping 16 assists. Additionally, he finished a team-worst -16 and shot just 6/18 from the floor. However, hope remains for a bounce back. In 11 games without Giannis this season, Holiday stepped up and averaged 22.6 PPG and 9.5 APG. Regardless of Giannis’ status, Holiday should be in for a much better game two.
Final Heat-Bucks Prediction & Pick
Miami dominated Milwaukee from start to finish in game one. While the Giannis injury certainly crippled their chances of mounting a comeback, the Bucks struggled even with their MVP on the floor. That being said, the Heat suffered a setback of their own via the loss of Tyler Herro. With Giannis potentially back in the mix in game two, expect the No. 1 overall seed to bounce back in a huge way and even the series.
Final Heat-Bucks Prediction & Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -8.5 (-106)
The post NBA Playoffs Odds: Heat vs. Bucks Game 2 prediction, pick, how to watch – 4/19/2023 appeared first on ClutchPoints.