heat bucks game 2 odds pick
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

A big shot from Khris Middleton and a huge stop by Jrue Holiday on Jimmy Butler as the clock wound down in overtime gave the Bucks a huge Game 1 win over the Heat in their Best of 7 series opener in Milwaukee. The Heat will look to even the series tonight before heading to Miami for two games, playing on a Fiserv Forum court that was less formidable this season than it has been in years past.

Let’s take a closer look at the best wagering markets with our Heat vs. Bucks Game 2 betting pick, complete with the best odds, prop predictions, and analysis.

The Heat bounced the Bucks from the Bubble last summer en route to a Finals loss to the Lakers, but Milwaukee owns a true home court advantage this time and looks to settle the score. The SU win but ATS loss by the home team in Game 1 set us up for an interesting Game 2 scenario, especially after a game that stayed under its posted total despite going to overtime.

Let’s take a closer look at the best wagering markets with our Heat vs. Bucks Game 2 betting pick, complete with the best odds, prop predictions, and analysis.

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Heat vs. Bucks Game 2 Odds

Here are the current odds for Heat vs. Bucks at DraftKings Sportsbook:

TEAMSPREADMONEYLINETOTAL
Clippers-3 (-112)-143O 216.5 (-112)
Mavericks+3 (-109)+123U 216.5 (-109)

Bets We Like Independent of Outcome

Either Team to Win by 7 or Less Points (PointsBet +115)

We believe the tone for this series was set in Game 1 where over time and two points separated Milwaukee and Miami. Two teams with experience, leadership, talent, and relatively good health should play an out-and-out war in most games of this series that could go the distance.

When the Playoffs begin, it’s difficult to blow another good team out. Milwaukee has the offensive chops to do it, but Miami is the fifth-ranked scoring defense and sixth-ranked field goal percentage defense in the league for a reason.

In fact, it’s worth noting that both of these teams landed in the top ten in the NBA in defensive efficiency ratings for the season. When every game bears such huge meaning, players will lock in defensively most trips down the court and games are likely to go down to the wire. For instance, in a series that the Heat dominated last summer, the five games between these two had just an eight point average margin of victory.

In last summer’s run to the NBA Finals, the Heat saw eight of their 17 games after the start of the Bucks series decided by seven points or less. In fact, 11 of their 21 playoff games overall were decided by 10 or less, putting them within one basket of this prop’s bounds.

Eight of the other 10 games were settled by 11, 12, or 13 points, with not a single playoff game decided by more than 17 for them. Interestingly, all four of their Game 2s in the Playoffs last summer were settled by 10 points or less. This season, they saw 44 of their 73 games thus far (60.3%) settled by 10 or less, again, putting them within one shot of cashing this wager.

If Milwaukee leads late, it can be difficult for them to pull away because Giannis’ is a subpar foul shooter, but gets to the line so often in big spots and the Bucks team is eighth-worst in the league from the stripe. This is probably why nine of their last 17 games were decided by seven points or less with another four settled by 8-10 points, making it 76.5% of those games finishing within a bucket of cashing this prop bet.

In fact, nearly half (35) of the Bucks’ 73 games this season fall into that category, which is pretty high for the league’s highest scoring offense, as one would expect a large number of blowouts.

Look for the Bucks, who were just 4-11 ATS as favorites of 5-7 points this season, to let a tough Miami team hang around once again as last season’s second best 3-point field goal percentage offense and this year’s fifth best trade punches until the final whistle.

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Heat vs. Bucks Betting Prediction

We mentioned the key to this one earlier. The Bucks’ tremendous offense, which leads the league in points per game and is top five in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage, creates the image that they are not a good defensive team. Yet, they are top ten in defensive efficiency and possess some of the best individual defenders in the league.

Most people know that Giannis is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year from the 2019-2020 season, but many are unaware that this Bucks roster has four other guys who received votes for last year’s All-Defensive Team. Holiday, Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo, and Brook Lopez all earned votes, with Lopez making the All-Defensive Second Team.

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In case you haven’t pieced it together yet, that means every single Game 1 starter is a vote-getter for last season’s All-Defensive Team.

The Heat’s defense speaks for itself, as they rode that D to the NBA Finals last season, much like the Los Angeles Lakers. Miami boasts two transcendent defenders of their own in Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. Butler can cover opposing stars of varying sizes, while Adebayo was a All-Defensive Second Team member last season and made a block that will live in NBA Playoff lore for ages to come.

Game 1 spoke volumes, as a game with the league’s best scoring team didn’t see a single quarter top 57 points. We saw Milwaukee’s aptitude for scoring and the league’s second highest pace of play neutralized by the Heat’s preference to crawl.

Miami possesses the second slowest pace of play in the league and it showed it Game 1. They are one of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the league, despite having Adebayo inside, because they prefer to get back and set up their halfcourt defense. They allow the least fastbreak points in the NBA this season at just 10.4 per game, which neutralizes a lot of what Milwaukee likes to do offensively.

Miami is smart enough to know the Bucks’ are dominant on the defensive glass and don’t waste time trying to change that. They’d rather force Milwaukee to use clock, shorten the game, and earn their points in a halfcourt setting. This is an ideal recipe for those betting the under.

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Heat vs. Bucks Betting Trends

Here are some trends supporting our hunch:

  • Miami played 27 of 48 games (56.3%) under on one day of rest, averaging just 213.3 total ppg, their lowest of any rest period role.
  • The Heat have played four straight under against above .600 win percentage teams and six of last seven first round playoff games under t he total.
  • Miami has played six of last eight as a road dog under and four of last five as a dog in the Playoffs under.
  • The Bucks have played five straight under at home against teams with above .500 road records and six of last eight under at home, all as a favorite.

Heat vs. Bucks Game 2 Pick

Perhaps the most telling note here is the fact that Vegas dropped the total from a final number of 227 in Game 1 to an opening number of 222.5 for Game 2. That’s essentially an apology letter from oddsmakers as they realize that they swung and missed with the total in Game 1.

Often when you see a big whiff like that, betting houses can’t quite do enough to compensate for their initial mistake and there is still considerable value left, like we believe we see here on the under.

OUR PICK: UNDER

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