The Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat will square off in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals on Monday evening. Both teams made quick work of their opponents in the opening round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, with the Heat sweeping the Indiana Pacers and the Bucks winning four consecutive games after a Game 1 loss to the Orlando Magic. Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe (hamstring) is listed as questionable, with Gabe Vincent (shoulder) listed as questionable for the Heat. 

Tip-off for this 2020 NBA Playoffs matchup is at 6:30 p.m. ET in Orlando. William Hill lists Milwaukee as a 5.5-point favorite in the Bucks vs. Heat odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 223. Before making any Heat vs. Bucks picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered last week on a blistering 59-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. It’s also 7-2 on top-rated picks since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Bucks vs. Heat. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds from William Hill and trends for Heat vs. Bucks:

  • Bucks vs. Heat spread: Bucks -5.5
  • Bucks vs. Heat over-under: 223 points
  • Bucks vs. Heat money line: Bucks -245, Heat +205
  • MIL: The Bucks are 5-4-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • MIA: The Heat are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games

Why the Bucks can cover

The Bucks were the NBA’s best defensive team in the regular season, and that strength carried over to Milwaukee’s first round win over Orlando. Mike Budenholzer’s team led the league in points allowed per possession, defensive rebound rate and shooting efficiency allowed in the regular season, with a sparkling 101.9 defensive rating against the Magic in a five-game win. Though Miami is a strong offensive team, the Heat struggled to bottom-10 rankings in both offensive turnover rate and offensive rebounding during the regular season, giving Milwaukee a few areas to target. 

On the other end, the Bucks also have advantages, with the best shooting efficiency in the NBA during the regular season. Milwaukee relies heavily on Giannis Antetokounmpo to generate offense, but the Bucks have a number of secondary options, headlined by All-Star wing Khris Middleton. The Heat also have a few vulnerabilities on defense, with a below-average 14.0 percent defensive turnover rate and a bottom-10 ranking in the NBA when it comes to allowing free-throw attempts for opponents. 

Why the Heat can cover 

Miami is a balanced team, with top-10 units on both offense and defense this season. On the offensive end, Jimmy Butler serves as the focal point, with the All-Star wing averaging 19.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in the first round against Indiana. The Heat are also an elite shooting team, posting a 55.3 percent clip in effective field-goal shooting during the regular season and continuing that effectiveness against the Pacers. Milwaukee is a spectacular defensive team, but Miami presents a bevy of shooters to put pressure on the opposition, headlined by the NBA’s best 3-point shooter this season in Duncan Robinson. 

Defensively, the Heat are fantastic at protecting the glass, grabbing 76.8 percent of available rebounds in the regular season, and Miami forced turnovers on 15.7 percent of possessions against Indiana, ranking No. 2 in the NBA Playoffs 2020 in creating havoc. 

How to make Bucks vs. Heat picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with only one player projected to hit the 20-point mark in this matchup. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine. 

So who wins Bucks vs. Heat? And which side of the spread cashes over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Heat vs. Bucks spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.

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