Free NBA Pick: Heat vs. Bucks NBA Odds
Looking for Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks free NBA picks & NBA odds? NBA betting sees the Heat taking on the Bucks on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 at Fiserv Forum. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions like this Heat Bucks matchup.
2021 NBA Playoffs Handicapping Round 1
(0-0) Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks (0-0)
Date: Saturday, May 22nd
Time: 2:00 PM EST
Venue: Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
NBA Moneyline Odds: Heat +173 | Bucks -188
NBA Betting Odds: Bucks -4.5
NBA Betting Total: 227
The 2021 playoffs tip-off with the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks playing in the opening game on Saturday, May 22nd. The Heat holds the all-time record between the clubs with 71 wins in 118 meetings.
The squads have faced each other twice prior in the postseason with the Heat dominating both series including a first-round sweep in 2013 and last season winning the semifinals 4-1.
Before everyone jumps on the fact the Bucks won two of the three games in the regular-season series it should be noted Jimmy Butler didn’t play in any of those contests.
Nor should everyone point to last season when the Heat took out the Bucks via a gentleman’s sweep in the semifinals employing the Giannis wall in a hat tip to Nick Nurse’s Raptors for inventing it the season prior.
Many will point to the addition of Jrue Holiday and PJ Tucker on the Bucks side of the floor but the Heat made additions too with Trevor Ariza who upgrades the Heat defense and is likely to spend time on Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Overall, the Heat are a different team with Butler on the court (33-19) versus without him (7-13).
Down the stretch, Miami emulated their Disney bubble success building momentum with a 12-4 run. During the segment of those 16 games, Miami possessed the third-ranked offense (118.8) and seventh-best net differential (+5.1).
Notably, the defense slipped during this same schedule segment, however, it’s conceivable Erik Spoelstra was keen to build offensive momentum knowing the path to the finals would likely require beating a tough slate of the Bucks, Nets, and 76ers.
Victor Oladipo (quadriceps tendon surgery) is out for the season.
Although Milwaukee won two of three games versus Miami this season Giannis Antetokounmpo had varying success. His average through the three games was 16.6 points, 10 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 2.4 steals.
While Antetokounmpo will be the focus of Miami the addition of Jrue Holiday will be equally important for the Bucks. If he can render Jimmy Butler less effective then it could help Milwaukee control the series.
Bench production is an issue as the Heat’s depth is more substantial with many players garnering minutes due to the COVID outbreak which forced Spoelstra to go utilize more of his reserves.
Milwaukee can’t afford to fall behind early especially with their poor record when they do winning only six times out of 29 when they trailed by double figures.
Jeff Teague (left knee soreness) is probable while Thanasis Antetokounmpo (right patella tendon avulsion fracture) is out.
- The Heat are 6-4 in their last 10 head to head meetings
- The Heat are 6-4 ATS in the last 10 head to head meetings
- Over/Under is 4-6 in the teams last 10 head to head meetings
Free Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks NBA Prediction:
In terms of the keys to the series for the Heat, it will be limiting Antetokounmpo, utilizing their depth and being effective from the perimeter where the Bucks rank 29th in opponent 3-point efficiency.
Alternatively, Holiday and Tucker will play a major role on both sides of the court with Jrue needing to limit the effectiveness of Jimmy Butler.
Ultimately, this series will come down to the coaches. Mike Budeholzer spent all season working on utilizing different schemes and adapting. His counterpart Erik Spoelstra is arguably the best in the NBA and a master at coming up with intricate defensive plans.
While Bud may have upped his adaptation game until he demonstrates the ability to do it within a live game with a positive result the jury is out.
All the pressure is on Bud and the Bucks and you have to think if Miami shocks them by stealing game one the pressure will dramatically increase.
4* Free NBA Betting Pick: Heat +4.5
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