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Buck Host Heat in Battle of Top East Contenders

The Miami Heat (39-31 SU, 33-35-2 ATS) take on the Milwaukee Bucks (45-25 SU,31-39 ATS) for the third time this season, but for the first time in this calendar year. The Bucks and Heat played on back-to-back nights on December 29th and 30th, splitting the series, and have not met since. The Bucks opened as favorites in this matchup.

Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks
  • Date/Time: May 15, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Fiserv Forum
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Bucks -5.5 | O/U 232 (Line History)
  • Heat vs Bucks Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The game opened with the Bucks favored at -5.5 and the line has moved to between -1.5 and -3 depending on the sportsbook. The total opened at 232 and has stayed at that number with even odds on the UNDER and OVER.

Miami News & Notes

The Miami Heat are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with two games to go in the regular season and can end up anywhere from fourth to sixth depending on how things shake out. The Heat have won four in a row and eight of their last ten making them one of the hottest teams in the East heading into the playoffs.

Bam Adebayo is averaging 18.3 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 63.3% over the last 10 games for Miami. Jimmy Butler leads the Heat in scoring overall this season with 21.5 points, adding 6.9 rebounds and 7.1 assists.

The underlying numbers are not great for the Heat, however as they rank fairly low in many different metrics. The Heat have the eighth-worst turnover percentage in the league this season and the ninth-worst rebound percentage. Basically, they give the ball away a lot and have a hard time getting it back.

The Heat does spread the ball around effectively on offense though as they have the top-ranked assist percentage in the league.

Milwaukee News & Notes

The Milwaukee Bucks have all the regular-season success of the Heat (and then some) but without the poorer underlying numbers. The Bucks are the fourth-best rebounding team in the league with a 51.9 rebounding percentage. The Bucks get it done on both ends of the floor as they have a top ten defensive rating and the fourth-best offensive rating.

In terms of just raw scoring, the Bucks also average the most points in the league this season per game, scoring 120.2 points per outing. They also have the third-best field goal percentage and third-best three points percentage.

It shouldn’t be too surprising with one of the league’s best players dominating both ends of the court. Giannis Antetokounmpo is fifth in league scoring averaging 28.4 points per game and is one of just four players in the league who are in the top twenty in scoring and averaging a double-double.

Betting Pick: Bucks -3

When you dig into the numbers a little bit it becomes clear the Bucks are a truly elite team. And while the Heat have some great players, their numbers tell a different story. The Heat are simply overmatched by the Bucks from an analytical standpoint so the bet is a pretty easy one, especially if you can find a line closer to -1.5.

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Shark Bites
  • The OVER is 10-1 in the Heat's last 11 games.
  • Milwaukee is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games.
  • Miami is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games vs Milwaukee.