Bucks Will Get Payback on Heat in Another Low-Scoring Matchup

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:10 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 7:10 PM UTC

The Miami Heat on Wednesday make their lone visit this season to Milwaukee as the Bucks look to redeem themselves for an ugly loss in south Florida on Sunday.

Miami Heat at Milwaukee BucksFree NBA Pick: UnderBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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It’s an 8 p.m. ET tipoff Wednesday from the Bradley Center in Beer Town as Miami makes its only visit of the season. Check out SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks for live betting options.

We aren’t even at the All-Star break yet, but it’s never too early to think about potential playoff tiebreakers. I could see these teams fighting for similar position, with the Heat currently holding down the East’s fourth spot and the Bucks two games back in seventh.

Because the Heat and Bucks play three times in the regular season, Miami would win any tiebreaker with a victory here because on Sunday in south Florida, it crushed visiting Milwaukee 97-79. Goran Dragic had 25 points and Hassan Whiteside 15 points and 10 rebounds. It was the Heat’s seventh straight win at the time. They improved to 15-3 this season when holding opponents to under 100 points.

It might have been a bit of a trap game for the Bucks as they were off their biggest home game of the season on Friday night, a 14-point loss to the Warriors. Or maybe the Bucks players got caught up in the South Beach lifestyle on Saturday night. Milwaukee shot just 31.6 percent from the field, the lowest percentage by a Bucks team in a regular-season game since March 22, 2013. Players not named Giannis Antetokounmpo and Malcolm Brogdon were a combined 12-for-55. The Freak had 22 points and six rebounds but was minus-20.

The Heat have won three consecutive games over the Bucks, but Milwaukee has won four of its last six at home in the series. The home team is 5-1 ATS overall in the past six meetings.

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Differing Results On MLK Day

Miami (25-18 SU, 19-22-2 ATS) had its seven-game winning streak snapped Monday in the second of a back-to-back in Chicago, 119-111. A game after holding the Bucks to that wretched shooting, the Heat allowed the Bulls to hit 47.7 percent and forced only 10 turnovers. Dragic scored 22 points to lead Miami and Kelly Olynyk had 21 points and eight assists off the bench.

The Heat got some bad news when starting guard Tyler Johnson left in the third quarter with a sprained ankle. X-rays were negative, but he’s going to miss a game or two. Johnson has been good over his past 10, averaging 14.7 points and 45 percent shooting. He had 14 points and six assists Sunday against Milwaukee. Wayne Ellington or Josh Richardson should move into the starting lineup. Johnson was starting only because Dion Waiters will undergo ankle surgery and is out of the rest of the season.

Milwaukee (23-20 SU, 18-20-5 ATS) also played the second of a back-to-back on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the Bucks pulled off a 104-95 upset in Washington to end a two-game losing streak. This time, Milwaukee shot 46.9 percent, 50 from 3-point range, and forced the Wizards into a season-high 24 turnovers. The Greek Freak had 27 points, a career-high 20 rebounds and six assists. Eric Bledsoe chipped in 23. The Bucks only got 15 points from their bench, but that’s a worry for another day.

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'The Pass' that has everyone talking!! pic.twitter.com/YzWCHQ8I9T

— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 16, 2018
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Antetokounmpo is second in the NBA in scoring at 28.3 ppg and is one of only four players in the league shooting over 50.0 percent (54.8) and averaging 25.0 points or more per game. As he goes the Bucks go, at least until Jabari Parker returns next month from his torn ACL.

I see no reason why this game will be much higher scoring than Sunday’s, especially with Johnson now out. The ‘under’ has hit in six straight Bucks games and in 23 of the Heat’s past 33 on the road. That total seems well too high so ‘under’ it is on the NBA picks. I also think the Bucks cover but prefer the total.

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