Led by Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat pulled off an upset in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, toppling the Milwaukee Bucks to take a 1-0 series lead. On Wednesday evening, the Heat and Bucks will return to action, with the Bucks aiming to knot the series with a bounce-back victory. Eric Bledsoe (hamstring) is questionable to play for the Bucks after missing Game 1. Gabe Vincent (shoulder) is questionable for the Heat.

Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. ET in Orlando. William Hill lists the Bucks as five-point favorites, up a point from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 220.5 in the latest Bucks vs. Heat odds. Before you make 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 $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 60-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,400 on those picks alone. It’s also a sizzling 10-2 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
  • Bucks vs. Heat over-under: 220.5 points
  • Bucks vs. Heat money line: Bucks -215, Heat +185
  • MIL: The Bucks are 4-5-1 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 struggled defensively in Game 1, allowing 1.16 points per possession. While that datapoint does influence any evaluation of the series, Milwaukee can fall back on the NBA’s best defense from the regular season and a unit that was effective in round one against Orlando. The Bucks led the league in points allowed per possession, shooting efficiency allowed and defensive rebounding in 2019-20, using their length and acumen to force opponents into suboptimal shot attempts. Furthermore, Milwaukee is one of the best teams in the NBA at preventing opponents from generating free throw attempts, potentially neutralizing one of Miami’s top offensive strengths. 

Offensively, Milwaukee benefits from a varied attack, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton creating opportunities and role players converting three-point attempts. The Bucks led the NBA in effective field goal percentage during the regular season and, after a hiccup in Game 1, they should return to their highly efficient ways.

Why the Heat can cover 

The Heat put together a highly impressive performance in Game 1, excelling on both ends of the court. While the Bucks have the NBA’s best defense by the numbers, Butler was able to create efficient offense, scoring 40 points on only 26 shooting possessions. Miami entered the playoffs as the league’s third-best team in terms of shooting efficiency, and Butler serves as the engine of the team’s offense. He is surrounded by high-end shooters in Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro, another creator in Goran Dragic, and a versatile and talented big man in Bam Adebayo. 

Defensively, the Heat have their hands full with Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, but Miami did finish the regular season with a top-10 mark in overall defensive efficiency, headlined by the league’s second-best defensive rebound rate. 

How to make Bucks vs. Heat picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with Brook Lopez and Dragic projected to exceed their season-long scoring averages. 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 $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.

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