Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks face a desperate situation on Friday evening in Game 3 against the Miami Heat. The top-seeded Bucks trail 2-0 in the best-of-seven series, with the Heat aiming to continue their winning ways in a primetime clash. For the Heat, Andre Iguodala (ankle), Kelly Olynyk (knee) and Gabe Vincent (shoulder) are listed as questionable for Game 3, with the Bucks at full strength without any key injuries.

Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. ET in Orlando. William Hill lists the Bucks as 5.5-point favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 223 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 advanced 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 -5.5
  • Bucks vs. Heat over-under: 223 points
  • Bucks vs. Heat money line: Bucks -220, Heat +190
  • MIL: The Bucks are 4-5-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • MIA: The Heat are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games

Why the Bucks can cover

The Bucks are in a challenging position but, given their track record, there is every reason to be optimistic for Game 3 and beyond. Milwaukee finished the regular season with the NBA’s best defense by a substantial margin, leading the league in shooting efficiency allowed, defensive rebounding and points allowed per possession. In this series, Miami has enjoyed success but, with a few tweaks, the Bucks were able to generate stops, holding the Heat to a more manageable scoring clip in the second half of Game 2. 

Offensively, the Bucks can rely on the league’s best shooting efficiency, and they are led by the leading contender for NBA MVP in Antetokounmpo. Like the Bucks overall, Antetokounmpo got off to a slow start in Game 2, but the talented big man is averaging 28.6 points and 14.9 rebounds per game so far in the postseason.

Why the Heat can cover 

Through two games, the Heat have simply been the better team in this series. Miami is outscoring Milwaukee by 0.7 points per possession, and that figure would rank in the top five of the NBA if extrapolated over a full season. Much of that quality work is happening on the defensive end, with the Heat holding the Bucks to just 1.1 points per possession, well below Milwaukee’s regular season scoring rate. 

Miami is forcing a turnover on 16.7 percent of possessions, helping to juice their fast break offense by providing transition opportunities, and the pace of the series is being dictated by the Heat. In fact, the Bucks played at the highest pace in the NBA during the regular season, with this series producing far fewer possessions, on par with a bottom-five pace compared to the regular season. Offensively, Miami is also making inroads against the stout Milwaukee defense, including a 60.5 percent true shooting and 1.17 points per possession through two games.

How to make Bucks vs. Heat picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with Antetokounmpo and Jimmy Butler projected to fall short of 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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