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Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Where and when: Fiserv Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Friday, 8:35 pm EST
The Miami Heat will travel to Fiserv Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for a Friday night showdown versus the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks at 8:35 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Bucks enter this matchup losers of two of their last three games, overall, as they suffered a setback versus the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers as Giannis Antetokounmpo did not suit up for the second straight game for Milwaukee. As a result, the visitors shot 39% from the floor while allowing 25 points to Collin Sexton for the Cavaliers in defeat.
The Miami Heat, on the other hand, has won three straight games entering this contest with Milwaukee. Goran Dragic put in some productive minutes for the Heat in their last contest as he ended with 22 points while going 4-7 from three-point range. Also, Dion Waiters had 18 as well for the Miami Heat, who will now take to the road where they picked up wins in their last three outings.
Bucks short-handed in loss to Cavaliers
The Milwaukee Bucks stand at two games ahead of the Toronto Raptors for first place in the Eastern Conference at this point in the season. Nonetheless, after losing two of their last three along with having Antetokounmpo out with injury, the Bucks look as if they may be on a bit of a slide entering this contest with the Miami Heat.
They are coming off a 39% shooting performance versus the Cleveland Cavaliers; Yet, they were able to tie the contest at the conclusion of the third quarter after being down by as many as 13 points. Nonetheless, Cleveland was able to edge the Bucks in the end due to 25 points from Sexton, as stated, while also getting 23 from Jordan Clarkson.
"I'm proud of the way our guys fought."
Coach Bud on last night's game: pic.twitter.com/lIusPgdx1s
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 21, 2019
Khris Middleton along with Eric Bledsoe poured in 26 and 24 points for Milwaukee while Brook Lopez also had 19 points in defeat. After their road contest with the Cavaliers, the Bucks will now return home for their next four games as they will attempt to get back on the winning track. In all, Milwaukee happens to be winners of four of their last five games at home. On the other hand, the Heat have been outstanding on the road recently in winning three straight, as pointed out.
In their last meeting less than a week ago, Milwaukee was able to pick up a 15-point win behind 33 points, 16 rebounds, along with nine assists from Antetokounmpo along with 21 points and eight assists from Khris Middleton.
Heat halts 9-game streak for Spurs
And while the Bucks were able to shoot 47% from the floor in this contest, the Heat were horrible from the field throughout as they shot just 40%. Miami also shot a terrible 56% from the free throw line in addition to also being outrebounded by a 52-45 margin in the loss. Justice Winslow went 8 – 16 for the game while leading the team with 20 points in addition to Hassan Whiteside chipping in 14 points along with 11 rebounds.
Nonetheless, since this matchup, the Heat have gone undefeated in picking up victories over the Charlotte Hornets, Oklahoma City, along with the San Antonio Spurs in their last time out. In this contest, they were able to snap a nine-game winning streak for San Antonio behind 22 points from Dragic in addition to 18 points from Dion Waiters. Josh Richardson also chipped in 15 points for Miami and the all-important victory as the Heat went up by 15 points at the half. And despite a potential late by San Antonio, the Heat were able to edge the home team in the end, thus going 2-0 on a current four-game road trip.
"Everybody was huge. That's the way we want to play." – @Goran_Dragic
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) March 21, 2019
Winslow along with Rodney McGruder are questionable with thigh and knee injuries. Richardson continues to lead the team with 17 points per game, however, has struggled lately as his shooting percentage has dipped to just 41% on the year. Finally, Dragic has been on a tear for the Heat since returning to the lineup from injury and has scored 20 or more points in the last two outings. The point guard went 2 – 9 from the floor while ending with four points in his last time out versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
- Under is 4-1 in Bucks last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Bucks are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight up loss.
- Bucks are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 Friday games
- Under is 4-0 in Heat last 4 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Heat are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Heat are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Friday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
With Giannis Antetokounmpo continuing to be questionable for this matchup with an ankle injury, look for the Miami Heat to continue their winning ways on Friday night. And while the Heat may be without McGruder along with Winslow in the lineup, look for Dragic along with Richardson to lead the way in this contest as the Heat will sneak out a slim victory in the end.
Prediction: Pick: Miami Heat +330
Full-Game Total Pick
On one hand, the Miami Heat have certainly not been offensive juggernauts versus their opponents in 2018-19. However, they will lock teams down from a defensive standpoint in which to limit quality looks on a nightly basis. It is for this reason that I will choose the under to be the strong play as I happen to believe that this will be a low-scoring contest throughout as both defenses will hunker down to make up for a lack of offense due to injury.
Prediction: Pick: Under 217.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
In an instance to where the star in Antetokuenmpo may be sitting yet again, I will most certainly ride with the Heat in this contest. Again, Dragic has provided a huge lift to the team lately while the role players for the Heat have all exceeded expectations lately, as well.
Prediction: Pick: Miami Heat +9
Half-Time Side Pick
Look for the Heat and the Bucks to battle early on. In other words, each squad will be looking to gain some type of momentum on either side of the floor. With that being said, while the Bucks will remain competitive early on, they will find consistent offense difficult to find without their star as the Heat will indeed cover the five points. Of course, the visitors will benefit from yet another big night from Dragic and the role players for Miami.
Prediction: Pick: Miami Heat +5
Half-Time Total Bet
I see this as being a low-scoring affair as the Heat will bring their defensive focus and intensity into this matchup. Also, with the Bucks being shorthanded, look for the total to end well below its set limit at the break.
Prediction: Pick: Under 111
Half-Time Prop Prediction
Look for the Heat to cash in on the money line at the break in this contest as they will rely on their defensive pressure in which to create more efficient offense early on. In other words, the Heat will be looking to play solid defense while pushing the pace in transition. This strategy will work well enough for them to pick up a slim lead at the half.
Prediction: Pick: Miami Heat +250