Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat betting tips and predictions for Friday’s NBA game on ESPN. It’s the 4th and final meeting of the regular season between the Bucks and Heat as they lock horns tonight at Fiserv Forum. Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips.
No Giannis Antetokounmpo puts the Milwaukee Bucks in an awkward position for tonight’s game as they’ve dropped the first two meetings against the Miami Heat with their star player also missing those games. They are on a 12-game win streak right now, and just a half game back of the number 1 seed in the East. Giannis hurt his wrist just before the break and played only 20 seconds in the all-star game, opting to not risk further injury.
It’s unknown when he will return to the line-up, without him the Bucks are only a .500 team in my opinion. We also might see them implement Jae Crowder into the line-up tonight, which could also hurt their chemistry a bit, so despite them winning 8 of the last 12 meetings I am not sure if I really like their chances in this one.
Miami also made some moves before and after the trade deadline. They acquired Kevin Love as he got a buyout from the Cavaliers, that’s the move that made the most noise coming out of South Beach. He adds size and three-point shooting and down the line he could be a great addition to his team, assuming he fits into their system.
The Heat are a well oiled machine, their road form has been questionable at times, but with us entering the final 23 or so games of the season I expect them to take tonight’s game very seriously. Kyle Lowry won’t be available to play, but players like Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo are both healthy and good to go. Defense was the main reason they won the first 2 meetings of the season vs Milwaukee, they held them to just 102 and 95 points.
On paper I really like Miami here, Giannis not playing is a big deal for the Bucks even if they did beat Chicago without him in their last game. Defenders like Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler will be able to neutralize the Bucks scorers, take Miami to cover on the road.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat Predictions & Odds
This match-up hasn’t been particularly productive on the points side of things when Giannis doesn’t play. We saw only 210 and 206 points in the first 2 meetings, and I can definitely see a similar outcome tonight as we have the 3rd and 4th best defensive efficiency teams going at it. Miami has a habit of going under in their road games – their record reads 12-17-1 on the O/U away from home.
The Bucks have also gone under in 4 of their last 5 games, plus in 7 of their last 10 vs Southeast Division opponents. Adding a player like Jae Crowder will also be beneficial for their defense, while without Antetokounmpo they’ll have to make up to around 35 points per game which isn’t easy. With Miami going 2-9 on the O/U in their last 11 games vs Central Division teams, I think that record extends tonight, so let’s back the under here as well.