Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat – NBA, May 29, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| May 29, 2021 3:47 am PDT

The Bucks face the Heat at the American Airlines Arena, hoping to close out the series at the first attempt in game four of this first-round playoff tie. After a very close game one which the Bucks edged after overtime, they have run away with games two and three, winning by margins of 34 and 29.

Game three was a poor one in truth that saw less than 200-points scored. This was primarily down to the Heat, whose attack completely flopped, scoring a messing 84-points! They shot at 37% from the field goal range and only 28% from the three-point range, totals that many college basketball teams would better.

Miami has now ended regular time in these three games with scores of 99, 98, and 84. It’s now do or die for them, and you have to think they will release the handbrake and go all out in game four.

The series is looking beyond them, but they will want to give their fans something to cheer about, especially after the year we have all had. However, they will have to keep tabs on Jrue Holiday, who has impressed the last two games.

The Bucks have now won the last four games between these two, and with such a ruthless streak about them, you can’t see them resting on their laurels here. They have also won on three of their last four visits to Miami; you can feel they hold all the cards here.

Over the last ten meetings between them, the Bucks are now averaging nine points more per game. If the Heat wants to get close to Milwaukee, they will need to start much better as the Bucks have ended the first half with an average lead of ten points. They will also need to rebound much better as they haven’t been able to get near the Bucks in this department.

Here is my Bucks vs. Heat betting preview.

Bucks vs. Heat Match Odds

Bucks -4.5-110
Heat +4.5-110
Bucks To Win-186
Heat To Win+170
Over 221.5 Points-110
Under 221.5 Points-110

Given the Bucks’ dominance of this series, the spread here is more than fair and resembles the totals set in games one and two. The points total is the lowest one set in the series.

Both teams have combined for exactly 221-points over their last ten encounters, but I feel there is every chance this could go over as the Heat will have to go all out for the win from the off. With now pressure on the Bucks, you feel their attack will excel.

Backing the Bucks?

The last time the Bucks won three in a row, they went on to lose the fourth game against the Bulls. They will hope history doesn’t repeat itself here.

They may be tempted to rest some players tonight, as the sensible play is to go all out for the win and then have a good few days’ rest as they await their Eastern Conference semi-final opponents. Especially seen as they haven’t been made to work very hard in any of the games in the series, especially games two and three.

Star scorer Giannis Antetokounmpo acknowledged the series wasn’t over and that the Bucks need to remain focused here. The key to their success in this series has been fast starts, as they have either dominated the first or second quarter of each game.

Here are the latest betting trends for Milwaukee:

Against The Spread

  • They have lost seven of their last ten matches.
  • The Bucks have won four of their previous six games against the Heat.
  • Milwaukee is 2-4 in their last six games on the road.

Generally, the Bucks haven’t done great against the spread recently, well that is until they face Miami.

Points Total

  • Eight of their previous ten visits to Miami has seen the betting total go under.
  • Only two of their last ten matches against teams from the Southeast Division have failed to go under the points total.

This suggests this game could be another low-scoring one.

Other Pointers

  • They have won six of their last seven games.
  • The Bucks have only lost one of their previous six matches against Miami.
  • Milwaukee is 11-1 in their last 12 games against Eastern Conference opposition.

This highlights how well the Bucks are playing and what an uphill battle the Heat face.

Looking at the Bucks stats in the playoffs so far, you can see they haven’t shot well from the free-throw line. Therefore, the Heat can certainly afford to be more aggressive here, especially as they have nothing to lose.

They have rebounded better than any other team offensively and defensively in the playoffs so far.

If they can rediscover their shooting touch from the regular season, they could go deep in the playoffs.

Their rebounding combined with the volume of steals they are making means they have seen a lot of the ball in this series, which is one of the reasons the Heat have struggled to trouble the scoreboard.

Milwaukee has also moved the ball around the court very quickly, often leaving the Heat chasing their tails. This has led to the highest average number of assists per game in the playoffs. However, it has come at a price as they have made the most turnovers in the playoffs to date.

Despite their dominance of this fixture, there is plenty to work on for the Bucks in the future. Besides reducing the number of turnovers they have made, they will also want to make more blocks, as they have currently averaged less per game than any other team.

Milwaukee will miss Thanasis for this one through a knee injury, and Di Vincenzo left game three with a foot injury and remains questionable to feature.

Money on Miami?

The Heat will be hoping that the Bucks doesn’t stop with Milwaukee for them and that they can keep their playoff hopes alive with a victory here. However, they have shown minimal fight in games two and three to suggest a comeback is likely.

They have now lost four of their last five (all to the Bucks), with their only win coming against the struggling Pistons. It’s clear their problems have been in attack recently, and they have to go all out here and throw the kitchen sink at the Bucks.

They can’t seem to shake their loss from game one out of their heads. They feel (and many others) that they should have won that game.

Here are the latest betting trends for Miami:

Against The Spread

  • Miami is 8-4 in their previous 12 matches.

This stat gives backers of the Heat some hope in this one.

Points Total

  • The total has gone over in 12 of their last 16 games.
  • Only one of their previous five matches against the Bucks has failed to go under the betting total.
  • Ten of their last 14 home games have gone over the points total.

Generally, Miami’s games have been high-scoring, that is until they face the Bucks.

It will be no surprise to see that Miami has struggled in the shooting department in this series, given the low scores they have posted.

They currently have a field goal percentage of 38%, which is the lowest in the playoffs to date.

This has resulted in them being the lowest-ranked offense in the playoffs after three rounds of games. They need Duncan Robinson to show the same form as he did in game one when he made seven of his 13 three-pointers.

The Heats passing certainly has helped things as they have been sloppy throughout the series, meaning a low number of assists and a high number of turnovers completed.

They also haven’t rebounded well in attack, which has been a recipe for disaster.

Miami only has one player out for game four, and that is Oladipo, who is out for the season with a knee injury.

Bucks vs. Heat Betting Pick

It’s hard to muster up an argument for the Heat other than it’s “go hard or go home” time for them. Even then, I don’t think it will be enough to see them win here as they already seem like a beaten team.

You could see in game three that most of the team was already on the summer holidays, and possibly one or two are thinking of playing their basketball somewhere else next season.

There has been no hiding; there has been unrest in the camp, given players have come out throughout the season criticizing others. They stuck together as they still all had a common goal or a dream, but now that the dream appears to be fading, you can see most of the players are now out for themselves.

Given the Bucks haven’t done too well against the spread and the Heat have recently, I won’t bet on the point spread. I’ll take the Bucks straight up to win the series in game four.

Pick
  • Bucks To Win
    -186

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