Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks odds, picks and predictions

The Milwaukee Bucks (37-25) host budding Eastern Conference rival in the Miami Heat (41-21) Wednesday. Tip-off at the Fiserv Forum is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Heat vs. Bucks odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

Miami is on a 4-game winning streak (three since the All-Star game) and 2-1-1 against the spread (ATS) in those contests. The Heat’s latest victory was a 112-99 beatdown of the Chicago Bulls at home as 5-point favorites Monday. Miami is 2 games atop the East, 4 games in front of the fourth-place Bucks.

Milwaukee split its first two games following the All-Star break, losing at home 126-123 to the Brooklyn Nets as a 9.5-point favorite Saturday and beating the Charlotte Hornets 130-106 Monday as a 10.5-point home favorite.

The Heat are 2-1 straight up (SU) and ATS versus the Bucks this season with an Over/Under (O/U) of 2-1.

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Heat at Bucks odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 2:24 p.m. ET.

Money line (ML): Heat +145 (bet $100 to win $145) | Bucks -180 (bet $180 to win $100)
Against the spread: Heat +4.5 (-112) | Bucks -4.5 (-108)
Over/Under: 224.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Heat at Bucks key injuries

Heat

SF Martin Caleb (Achilles) questionable
PG Kyle Lowry (personal reasons) out

Bucks

SG Pat Connaughton (finger) out
PG George Hill (neck) out
C Brook Lopez (back) out

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Heat at Bucks odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Heat 116, Bucks 112

Money line

BACK the HEAT (+145) for a tiny wager – if at all – because Miami’s spread is the much sharper wager.

Everyone is waiting for the Bucks to begin their ascension atop the East, but the Heat are unquestionably the better team through 60-plus games and the numbers back it up.

Not only do the Heat have a better overall record, but they have higher effective field-goal shooting and rebounds per game differentials than Bucks.

Also, Miami does a better job winning tight games. The Heat are 18-11 SU in “clutch” situations while the Bucks are just 15-16 SU in those spots. “Clutch” is defined by games within a 5-point margin inside of five minutes to play.

Again, my preference is Miami getting points, but there’s some value in the HEAT (+145) all the way down to +135.

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Against the spread

Definitely BET the HEAT +4.5 (-112) heavier than or instead of their money line for a variety of reasons.

This is a Pros vs. Joe’s game in the betting market as roughly 80% of the cash is on Miami’s spread, but a slight majority of the bets placed are on the Bucks -4.5 (-108), according to VegasInsider.com. Typically, it’s wise in sports betting to follow the money when it’s counter to the public.

It’s also a much better spot for the Heat, who are 9-5 ATS as road underdogs with a plus-7.5 ATS margin, while the Bucks are 10-19 ATS as home favorites with a minus-3.9 ATS margin.

MIAMI +4.5 (-112) is by far my favorite wager in this game.

Over/Under

PASS.

I’m much more comfortable betting the Heat’s ML and spread than the total.

I “lean” to the Over 224.5 (-110) because Miami scored 137 points in the only Heat-Bucks meeting that both SF Jimmy Butler and C Bam Adebayo played. Both are projected to be Miami’s starting 5 Wednesday. Plus, Milwaukee is 8-1 O/U in its last nine games.

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Author: Naomi Berry