Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks Game 1 Prediction, Playoff Odds

Jeremy Perry | Updated May 22, 2021

Jrue Holiday, Bucks, 2021

The Bucks took two of three games against the Heat during the regular season.

Miami
40-32
AT
May 22, 2021, 2:00 PM ET
Fiserv Forum
Milwaukee
46-26
Pointspread +6 -112
Moneyline +182
Over / Under o +227

32%

Betting Action

68%

Pointspread -6 -108
Moneyline -218
Over / Under u +227

32%

Betting Action

68%

The Milwaukee Bucks had a strong season by most accounts – but not securing a top-two seed in the Eastern Conference has left them with a challenging first-round playoff matchup with the defending conference champs. The Bucks are slight favourites Saturday afternoon as they welcome the Miami Heat to Fiserv Forum. The Heat battled through injuries and COVID-19 absences to finish sixth in the East and face a tough path to defend their conference title.

Heat vs. Bucks NBA Playoff Odds

The Bucks are installed as 4.5-point favourites in the series opener after taking two of three games from the Heat in their regular-season series. The Bucks have been downright dreadful against the spread in recent games, having covered just once in their past seven outings. The Heat, on the other hand, have made bettors rather happy with a 5-1 ATS run over their past six games. Miami also has a 13-7 ATS edge in its last 20 meetings with the Bucks.

The total for Saturday’s matinee is on the high side at 227, with a slight 53 percent majority of Sports Interaction customers taking the Under. Both teams were superior Over plays during the season, with the Bucks sporting a 41-31 O/U record and the Heat going 38-34. And Miami has been positively red-hot in the Over department of late, having gone 11-2 O/U in its previous 13 games overall. That includes a 6-1 O/U mark in its last seven road games.

Miami Heat

Miami failed to build on the momentum of its incredible run to last season’s NBA finals, going just 40-32 SU to earn the final automatic playoff spot in the East – and that only came to pass because the Heat went 8-2 on their final 10 games to close out the season. The Bucks will need to keep a close eye on Jimmy Butler, who was arguably the best player in the 2019-20 playoffs and averaged 21.5 points while establishing career bests in assists (7.1) and rebounds (6.9).

Milwaukee Bucks

Finishing 20 games above .500 in a 72-game season would be good enough for most teams in the NBA – but the Bucks have to see their performance as a minor disappointment. They finished with the top scoring differential in the conference (plus-5.9) but couldn’t keep pace with Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets teams that both dealt with extended absences to star players. Milwaukee went a pedestrian 19-17 SU against teams with winning records.

NBA Playoff Prediction: Who Will Win Heat vs. Bucks?

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