Tuesday NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Heat vs. Bucks Game 5 Preview (Sept. 8)
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler surrounded by Milwaukee Bucks.
- The Heat are a short favorite over the Bucks in Game 5 of their second-round series, and Reed Wallach thinks Miami will turn it up a notch on offense as it tries to close out the series.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo is questionable with an ankle injury, and his status is affecting the market greatly.
- Get our full breakdown and best bet for Heat vs. Bucks below.
Heat vs. Bucks Game 5 Odds, Pick
|Heat Odds||-2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Bucks Odds||+2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-139/+118 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||216 (-112/-109) [BET NOW]|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
Despite losing the 2019 MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to a sprained ankle in the first half of an elimination game, the Milwaukee Bucks shocked the Miami Heat 118-115 in overtime to keep their season alive and force a Game 5 on Tuesday.
Antetokounmpo’s status looms large over this one, as he is listed as questionable as of this writing, and updates will be provided at the FantasyLabs Player Tracker. With Giannis’ status in question, the Heat sit at 3-point favorites.
How will Miami respond after seemingly having this series wrapped up? Will Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton be able to sustain this level of play if Giannis is out again?
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It seemed that the Heat were caught sleeping in Game 4. While the Bucks rallied around Giannis’ injury, the Heat took their foot off the gas and didn’t close out the No. 1 seed when they had a chance.
Miami’s Jimmy Butler was quiet in Game 4 after a fantastic first three games, scoring 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting. The Heat as a team lost the rebounding battle to the Bucks and didn’t dominate the free-throw margin, making two less trips than their opponent on Sunday, two key figures in their early series success. In overtime, Miami had several chances to take the game and finish Milwaukee off. But the Heat had some sloppy turnovers that let the Bucks hang around along with some poorly timed fouls.
Looking to Game 5, Miami has the recipe to beat Milwaukee. It starts with rebounding and generating looks out of the pick-and-roll offense. The Heat still carved up the Bucks’ defense, generating 33 assists on 40 field goals, but the shooting regressed a bit back after shooting above expectation in the first three games.
If Giannis plays, Miami still knows how to beat this team. If he doesn’t, the Heat are even better suited to finish this series. If the team can find its three-point shot in Game 5, whether Antetokounmpo plays or not, it might not matter.
Middleton’s heroics got the Bucks to Game 5, and even if Antetokounmpo plays, Middleton is going to have to put up similar numbers to force a Game 6. Middleton played in 48 of 53 minutes, scoring 36 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out eight assists. There’s been a lot of talk of Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer’s rotations, and Middleton has only played over 40 minutes one other time this season, so this will be uncharted waters for the Bucks as a team.
While Middleton was the steadying force for Milwaukee, the team’s role players stepped up when called on. Donte DiVincenzo was great in his minutes off the bench, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds, and he was also a +22 in his 26 minutes of action. He played more than the struggling Wesley Matthews, who was 1-of-4 from the field in 24 minutes and continues to stop the Bucks’ secondary action, as his ball handling is a non-factor. DiVincenzo continues to be the X-Factor to this Milwaukee roster, and he is going to be needed often in Game 5 to help Middleton carry the load from a ball handling perspective.
The truth of the matter is that the Bucks are still in a 3-1 hole to a talented Heat team. After using Middleton for such heavy minutes, it will be interesting to see if they can sustain their level of play throughout the rest of this series.
If Giannis plays, that can change the trajectory of this series. If he is close to 100 percent and can give Middleton a bit of a rest throughout Tuesday’s game, the Bucks can get back into this series with its newfound confidence. What matters more though, is that Milwaukee’s role players continue to keep up its end of the bargain with the likes of DiVincenzo and Eric Bledsoe coming off a strong Game 4.
The Giannis injury of course influences this pick. The Bucks sit at +3 as of this writing with his status unclear, and I am going to stay away from the spread for this writeup. If Giannis does play, I actually like Miami at any number better than a Pick’em. I think that the Heat have the goods to finish this series on Tuesday.
However, my pick will be sticking to what is working. With a total down three points from Sunday’s Game 4 — 219.5 to 216.5 — I’m going to be on the Miami team total over. I do not see Milwaukee stopping this team as long as the series goes on for, and this bet has hit through the first four matchups.
I’m going to get a reduced number on the idea that Giannis is going to change the scoring, because the Heat offense is going to generate great looks one way or another.
Pick: Heat Team Total Over 109.5, would play to 111