Bet One Unit On the Bucks vs. Heat for Tonight

Jason Lake

Sunday, November 16, 2014 4:26 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 4:26 PM UTC

Uh-oh. Dwyane Wade didn’t play Friday for the Miami Heat, and the NBA odds for Sunday’s matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks are on hold until we get some clarification. We like the Bucks either way.

Jason’s record as of Nov. 14: 6-5 ATS

Profit: plus-2.9 units

It’s not like we were expecting Dwyane Wade to play all 82 games this year for the Miami Heat. But we were looking forward to a lot fewer surprises when it came to him suiting up or not. Oh well: Wade suffered a mild hamstring pull in Wednesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers (+8.5 away), and he didn’t play at all in Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks ended up winning 114-103 as 6-point home dogs.

In this case, Wade’s injury worked out just fine for us. But here we are with the Milwaukee Bucks (4-5 SU, 6-3 ATS) coming to town on Sunday, and we don’t know whether or not Wade will play – which also means we don’t have any NBA odds for this game as we go to press. Well, shucky-darn. But we were going to recommend the Bucks anyway. Yes, the Bucks.

Bucky Done Gun
It was generally agreed that Milwaukee would play better this season – it’s not like things could get much worse after last year’s tank-tastic 15-67 effort (36-45-1 ATS). The Bucks already got what they wanted: a premium draft pick and a potential franchise cornerstone in SF Jabari Parker. He’s already in the starting lineup, and while Parker is doing a little bit of everything, he’s not scoring much (13.0 points per 36 minutes). Parker’s minus-4.3 BPM and minus-1.4 VORP show he’s got a lot of learning to do.

But Parker’s not the only major offseason addition in Milwaukee. Head coach Jason Kidd came to town after what appeared to be a failed power play in New Jersey, and so far, his work with the Bucks has received positive reviews. It helps that most of Kidd’s players are young and willing to listen. Brandon Knight (plus-3.5 BPM) and Larry Sanders (plus-2.2 BPM) are both playing well, and the Bucks are No. 3 in the league in defensive efficiency at 95.2 points allowed per 100 possessions.

That’s pretty sweet. It’s almost enough to make you ignore the fact that Milwaukee is second-to-last in offense at 95.0 points scored/100, ahead of only the still-tanking Philadelphia 76ers (90.0). Again, Parker (minus-4.2 OBPM) isn’t scoring, and you don’t really expect much offense anyway from guys like Sanders (minus-3.7 OBPM), Jared Dudley (minus-3.4 OBPM) and Ersan Ilyasova (minus-3.1 OBPM). You might want to add the UNDER to your NBA picks for Sunday’s contest (6:00 p.m. ET) given this offense-defense imbalance. The UNDER is 7-2 in Milwaukee’s first nine games.

Defensive Three
As for the Heat (5-4 SU and ATS), we’ve had the chance to bet on them as well as against them, and things have gone largely according to plan. It’s intriguing to watch the Heat in their post-LeBron years; Chris Bosh (21.8 points, 9.2 rebounds per 36 minutes) is definitely thriving in his increased role, and Wade (22.0 points, 7.1 assists/36) isn’t exactly running on fumes, either.

However, both Bosh (minus-0.5 DBPM) and Wade (minus-1.4 DBPM) are delivering negative results on the defensive end, as is just about every player on the roster. Chris Andersen (plus-1.0), Shabazz Napier (plus-0.5) and Josh McRoberts (plus-0.4) are the lone exceptions. Miami is only No. 21 in defensive efficiency (104.5 points allowed/100), although the UNDER is still 5-4 after nine games. If you see a total that you like on the NBA odds board, feel free to pound that UNDER, but we’ll be recommending the Bucks for the minimum single unit.


The Five Stars
Depth/Travel/Rest: MIL
Defense: MIL
Coaching: MIA
Market Bias: MIL
Betting Line Value: ???

Verdict: Minimum bet on MIL

Free NBA Pick: Bet one unit on the Bucks at 5Dimes

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