Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks Betting Predictions

Heat vs Bucks NBA
Miami vs. Milwaukee, NBA Betting Predictions, December 29

Two of the favorites in the Eastern Conference tangle early in the season as the Miami Heat without the services of Jimmy Butler host two-time reigning NBA Basketball MVP Giannia Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Heat vs. Bucks Betting Odds

If these two teams were healthy, it would be a good early-season test for both teams. But the Miami Heat will be without Jimmy Butler for this game due to an ankle injury. It’s a major loss for Miami as it will be without its unquestioned leader, which will cause issues on both ends of the floor.

Butler was a major catalyst in the the Heat’s postseason success on both ends of the court against Milwaukee. He was a leader in helping shut down the Bucks on defense and also played an important role on offense with 40 points in Game 1 and 30 points in Game 3. Without him, the Heat are going to struggle to contain the Bucks’ powerful offense and it will force someone else to step up to defend Giannis Antetokounmpo.

On offense, the Heat will rely on its trio of guards to make up for Butler’s lost production. Tyler Herro came into his own during the postseason over the summer, and he’ll be the key in this matchup. He’s only averaging 12 points per game so far, but he’ll need to have one of those big games to match Milwaukee. Goran Dragic will likely return to the starting lineup, though he is the Heat’s second-leading scorer early at 19.5 points per game.

Miami might also try to pound the paint with Bam Adebayo, who leads the Heat with 21 points per game. If the Heat can get him going inside, it might open up the perimeter for Duncan Robinson, who is always an X-factor with his 3-point shooting. Robinson had it going against New Orleans last week with seven 3-pointers and 23 points in the win over the Pelicans.

The challenge, though, will be to slow down a Milwaukee offense that has been scoring at an impressive rate this season. Despite being 1-2, the Bucks are averaging 123 points per game and shooting almost 50 percent from the floor. It’s of course been Antetokounmpo, the two-time reigning MVP, helping to lead the charge for Milwaukee at 25.7 points and 13 rebounds per game. But Khris Middleton is actually leading the Bucks with 26.7 points and six assists per game while shooting 45.5 percent from behind the arc.

The Bucks are 4.5-point favorites with NJ’s Top Sports Betting Sites, and that might not be enough in this game. Milwaukee’s lowest point total in the first three games is 110 points, one point fewer than Miami’s season-high, and that was with Butler in the lineup. The Heat don’t have enough firepower to keep up with the Bucks on offense and without Butler, I struggle to see how they will contain Antetokounmpo and Middleton. As a result I’m starting my NBA betting predictions by betting the parlay of Milwaukee laying 4.5 points and under 222.5 total points for +260 odds. However, I’m going to take a bigger risk with my alternate spread and predict the Bucks to win by double digits, betting Milwaukee laying 9.5 points at +182 odds then doubling down to wager on the Bucks to win by at least 11 for +220 odds.

My Prediction

Milwaukee -4.5

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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