Free Picks: Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Heat vs Bucks NBA
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, AmericanAirlines Arena

The Milwaukee Bucks have not exactly started the season as you’d expect one of the top contenders in the league being led by the two-time reigning NBA MVP—Giannis Antetokounmpo—to start but Tuesday evening presents the Greek Freak and his new-look supporting cast with the perfect opportunity to right the ship for this current season while exacting some sweet revenge on the team that booted them from last season’s playoffs. Two birds, one stone.

Absence Of Butler To Make Big Bounce Back Win For Bucks Easy

Not only are the Bucks coming up against the Heat for the first time since that brutal five-game series sent top-seeded Milwaukee out of the bubble with their tails between their legs, but they’re also coming off of a shockingly bad performance against the perpetually cursed New York Knicks in a 130-110 loss during which they didn’t even sniff the Knickerbockers during the second half.

If that decidedly sour taste doesn’t get Antetokounmpo and company out of bed and revved up, I don’t know what will. I’m not bullish on Milwaukee’s overall prospects for this season, but I do think they’ve got a pearl of a game here when you consider those caveats alongside the fact that Miami will more-than-likely be without their best player in Jimmy Butler.

Butler was the biggest part of Miami’s success against Milwaukee in the bubble, and as of this writing he’s being listed as doubtful for the game, a designation that translates to a missed game for that player as often as Steve Nash used to hit his free throws—basically every time. Butler injured his ankle last Friday during a game that he did not end up finishing and three days later coach Erik Spoelstra sounded less than encouraging on the possibility of  Jimmy Buckets’ availability for Tuesday.

You might be thinking, “hey, but what about all of Miami’s other great talents?” Well, you’d be right, the Heat are a great team because they’ve got a ton of talent to go around—but Jimmy’s still the lead dog that makes everything run smoothly. Last season without Butler the Heat went 6-9 straight up and against the spread, but deeper into the season they got, the worse that record was: Miami was only 4-7 without Jimmy after January 1st, and that mark dropped to 1-4 in the bubble late in the season.

Antetokounmpo has started off the season very slowly, but he was not named the MVP two seasons running for no reason: he’s got an animal in him, he’s a competitor, and he wants to dismantle teams. If you want a safe bet you can count on for Tuesday night, go with the over on Antetokounpo’s combined points + assists + rebounds prop on 22Bet, currently sitting at -120 odds.

Without Butler leading the charge on the court through both his skills and his demeanor, the Bucks should have no problem winning, but the question is by how much they will do it. This game has huge revenge/bounce back game written all over it for the Greek Freak and his boys, so not only are we trusting Giannis to get his job done, but we’re going to take a bit more of a risk on a big-time value play and take the Bucks to win by 11 points or more against the Heat on Tuesday night in Miami with juicy +220 odds on 22Bet.

Stats

  • Miami is 1-7 in last 8 games versus teams with losing records SU
  • Over has hit 7 of the last 8 times with Milwaukee as the road favorite
  • Miami is 0-5 in their last 5 games against teams with a losing road record
  • Over has hit 4 straight times when Milwaukee is the favorite

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Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve. Follow Alex on Twitter

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