NBA Playoffs Series Odds & Schedule: Bucks in Driver’s Seat After Game 1 Thriller vs. Heat
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: rue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks talks to teammate Khris Middleton #22.
Bucks vs. Heat Series Odds
|Win in 4||+375|
|Win in 5||+220||+2500|
|Win in 6||+350||+900|
|Win in 7||+400||+800|
No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks finished third in the Eastern Conference after back-to-back years of blowing the doors off the league. Their advanced metrics show that they are still as dangerous as in previous seasons: They rank fourth in Offensive Rating (116.6), third in Net Rating (+6.0), and second in Effective Field Goal Percentage (56.6%).
The Bucks still played their top competition well going 22-14 against teams at or above .500. Antetokounmpo has also played at a level equal to his MVP seasons: 28.1 points, 5.9 assists, 11.0 rebounds and 16.7 points in the paint.
Milwaukee gets a lot of its offense (19.4%) in transition per NBA Advanced Stats and teams will look to stop Antetokounmpo in the open floor as they have in past playoff series. Adding Jrue Holiday in the offseason gives the Bucks another player who can get his own shot or set up Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
Health will also be key for the Bucks. They haven’t had any major injury issues, but Antetokounmpo sat out for a six game stretch with knee soreness in April. The conversation surrounding the Bucks will always center around how they perform in the playoffs. Oddsmakers have the Bucks listed just behind the 76ers and Nets to win the East and they have the sixth-best odds to win the NBA championship.
No. 6 Miami Heat
The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers had the shortest break between last season’s NBA Finals and the start of the regular season, but it was clear early that their magical run would not carry over.
Since mid-February, the Heat have the sixth-best win percentage in the NBA and they rank tied for 10th in the league in Defensive Rating (111.1). More recently, Miami has found its offense and is scoring 118.8 points per 100 possessions over their past 16 games.
In that recent span, the Heat are 11-4-1 against the spread (tied for the best mark during that span) and 11-5 to the over (tied for third-best).
The Heat are obviously not strangers to being a longshot in the playoffs and a matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks in Round 1 will immediately bring back memories of last season. While they have a difficult path to returning to the Finals, the Heat are a team to watch in the East.
Heat vs. Bucks Game 2 Odds
|Moneyline||+155 / -190|
|Time||2 p.m. ET|
Bucks vs. Heat Round 1 Schedule
Game 1: Bucks 109, Heat 107
Game 3: Thursday, May 27 | 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT
Game 4: Saturday, May 29 | 1:30 p.m. ET on TNT
Game 5: TBA
Game 6: TBA
Game 7: TBA