The Milwaukee Bucks will look to take a 2-0 lead over the Miami Heat in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series in the 2021 NBA Playoffs on Monday. The Bucks (46-26), the third seed in the East, defeated the Heat 109-107 in overtime on Saturday on a last-second shot by forward Khris Middleton. It is the first time in three attempts that the Bucks have held a lead in a playoff series against Miami. The Heat (40-32), the sixth seed, defeated Milwaukee 4-1 in last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
Tip-off from Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Miami leads the all-time series 79-49, including an 8-2 edge in playoff games. Milwaukee is a 4.5-point favorite in the latest Bucks vs. Heat odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 222.5. Before making any Heat vs. Bucks picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $900 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the 2020-21 NBA Playoffs on a stunning 99-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Heat vs. Bucks in the NBA Playoffs 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA betting lines for Bucks vs. Heat:
- Heat vs. Bucks spread: Bucks -4.5
- Heat vs. Bucks over-under: 222.5 points
- Heat vs. Bucks money line: Heat +165, Bucks -185
- MIA: The Heat are 4-0 against the spread in their last four conference quarterfinals games
- MIL: The Bucks are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games vs. a team with a winning road record
Featured Game | Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat
Why the Bucks can cover
Milwaukee, in its fifth consecutive postseason, is powered by two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who averaged 28.1 points, 11 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game during the regular season. In the series opener vs. Miami on Saturday, he was a force as he scored 26 points, while grabbing 18 rebounds. In 27 career games against the Heat, Antetokounmpo is averaging 18.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Besides being prolific, he has also been accurate. On May 13 at Indiana, he scored 40 points on 77.7 percent shooting from the floor with 15 rebounds, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in Bucks history with 40 points and 15 rebounds on 75 percent shooting in a game.
Also powering the Bucks is Middleton, who finished with 27 points, including the game-winner. He also added six rebounds and six assists. In three regular-season games against the Heat, Middleton has been productive, averaging 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds. He has played well against Miami throughout his career and is averaging 15.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 24 career games against them. Middleton scored 20-plus points in a season-high six-game stretch from April 30 to May 10.
Why the Heat can cover
Miami has had Milwaukee’s number, winning seven of the past 12 games against the Bucks, including in the postseason. Forward Jimmy Butler, who played collegiately in Milwaukee at Marquette, has been a thorn in the Bucks’ side. In 26 career games vs. Milwaukee, he is averaging 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists. In Saturday’s loss, Butler scored 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists in 46 minutes of action. He had been out for nine days due to a sprained ankle he suffered against Philadelphia on May 13. In 52 games this season, Butler averaged 21.5 points, 7.1 assists, 6.9 rebounds and a league-high 2.1 steals.
Center Bam Adebayo has also been a force inside. He was one of only two players in the league to record at least 300 assists and 60 blocks this season, joining Antetokounmpo. Although he was held to nine points on Saturday, he grabbed 12 rebounds. For the season, Adebayo averaged 18.7 points, nine rebounds and 5.4 assists. Earlier this season, he scored a career-high 41 points at Brooklyn to become the second-youngest player in team history to register a 40-point game.
How to make Bucks vs. Heat picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 216 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Heat vs. Bucks? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a 99-66 roll on NBA picks.