Heat set to start postseason run

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat are big favorites for Sunday night as they take on the Milwaukee Bucks at home in the opening game of their first-round NBA playoff series.

The Heat and Bucks met four times during the regular season, with Miami going 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS for their supporters on the NBA betting lines in those contests. Totals bettors saw each of the last three Heat vs. Bucks matchups turn into UNDER results.

Miami battles the Bucks, currently with a 38-44 mark (36-45-1 ATS). The OVER/UNDER records, important for totals bettors, are 43-39 for the Heat and 41-41 for the Bucks. (Note: follow us on Twitter for line updates and injuries news).

View Milwaukee vs Miami Odds and Stats.

Betting Line:
Miami opened as 12.5-point favorites at online sportsbook BetOnline, while the NBA total was sitting around 199 at Sportsbook.ag for those who prefer OVER/UNDER betting.

Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Heat - Bucks odds would favor the Heat if the lines were set according to power ranks. Miami is rated No. 4 in our latest Odds Shark poll, while the Bucks sit at No. 14. Math models based on recent stats and predictive formulas point to a 107-98 win for the Heat.

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How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Miami's No. 5-ranked offense (102.9 PPG) against a Bucks defense that ranks No. 20 at 100.4 PPG. The Heat have averaged 49.6% from the field per game, more than the Bucks have managed so far this season (43.5% on average).

Defensively, the Bucks feature the league's No. 14-rated defense on the road, giving up 99.6 points per game. Miami, meanwhile, comes in at No. 4 in the league in scoring at home.

Last time out for Milwaukee, they were a 95-89 winner as they battled the Thunder on the road. The Bucks covered in the match as a 3.5-point underdog, while 184 combined points moved the game UNDER for totals bettors. John Henson scored 28 points and added 16 rebounds for a double-double, leading Milwaukee over Oklahoma City, 95-89, on Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

In their last action, Miami was a 105-93 winner at home against the Magic. They covered the 7-point spread as favorites, while the combined score (198) was profitable news for OVER bettors. Miami earned a 105-93 victory over Orlando on Wednesday, getting 21 points from Mike Miller at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Milwaukee Bucks Trends:
When playing on Sunday are 8-2
Before playing Miami are 5-5
After playing Oklahoma City are 3-7
After a win are 4-6

Miami Heat Trends:
When playing on Sunday are 7-3
Before playing Milwaukee are 9-1
After playing Orlando are 7-3
After a win are 8-2

A few Bucks at Heat trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Milwaukee's last 10 games when playing on the road against Miami
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Milwaukee's last 9 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Milwaukee's last 16 games when playing Miami
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Milwaukee's last 9 games
Miami is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Miami is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Miami's last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games

Next up:
Milwaukee at Miami, Tuesday, April 23
Miami home to Milwaukee, Tuesday, April 23

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