Bucks Worth A Shot Over Healed Heat

Thursday, March 14, 2019 7:45 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019 7:45 PM UTC

The Milwaukee Bucks have trampled all over the NBA odds. They’ll have the advantage Friday night when they visit the Miami Heat.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Mar. 13: 19-16-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 29-11 Totals

Milwaukee (51-17 SU, 40-25-3 ATS) at Miami (32-35 SU, 36-31 ATS)

Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBA-TV

Free NBA Pick: Bucks ATS

Best Line Offered: Heritage

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If the regular season mattered at all, the Milwaukee Bucks would already be the most talked-about team in the NBA. They’ve absolutely crushed it this year, hitting the 50-win mark and clinching a playoff berth before anyone else. Milwaukee’s plus-9.2 point differential is over three points better than the Golden State Warriors at plus-5.8. This is elite material we’re dealing with here.

Good thing the rest of the world hasn’t caught on yet. The Bucks are about as small-market as they come, and despite their winning ways, they still have betting value heading into Friday’s game against the Miami Heat. Milwaukee opened as a 4.5-point road chalk on the NBA odds board, and miraculously enough, they’ve been moved to –4 at Heritage, so we’re all over that like white on rice.

Pau R. Toc H.

It’s nice to have some odds to work with for a change. This isn’t a back-to-back situation for either team, and there aren’t any major injuries to confuse matters; Miami is completely healthy, and the Bucks only have reserve guards George Hill (minus-0.3 BPM) and Sterling Brown (minus-1.4 BPM) listed as day-to-day.

They can live with that. Milwaukee have a fully-stacked cupboard of players to work with, including their two most recent additions, Nikola Mirotic (plus-1.2 BPM in 11 games) and Pau Gasol (minus-8.9 BPM in 30 minutes), although it might take Gasol some time to get acclimatized after spending nearly two months on the San Antonio Spurs bench, recovering from a broken right foot. The Bucks are 8-3 SU and 6-5 ATS since adding Mirotic at the trade deadline, and 2-1 SU and ATS with Gasol.

Heat In The Jungle

Miami have some sneaky value themselves. In many ways, they’re also a regional team now that LeBron James has been gone for so long; the return of Dwyane Wade (minus-0.9 BPM) helped them get some shine back, though he’s on his retirement tour and not nearly the transcendent figure he used to be. The Heat still have respected head coach Erik Spoelstra, and one of the better defenses in the league at No. 8 in efficiency (105.5 points allowed per 100 possessions).

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Would you look at another great defensive effort from Bam Adebayo. Shows on the pick and roll, sees Olynyk and WInslow pull over so he rotates all the way to the opposite corner. Then a great stunt on Griffin's drive, didn't overcommit vs. Ellington. pic.twitter.com/UVmY61ahMc

— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) March 14, 2019
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They also have some quality big men. Bam Adebayo (plus-2.8 BPM) and especially Hassan Whiteside (plus-0.6 BPM) are known for their defense more than anything; Kelly Olynyk (plus-1.6 BPM) has been a solid two-way player since he debuted for the Boston Celtics in 2013. They’re not going to make it easy for Milwaukee in this matchup, but the fine folks at FiveThirtyEight still project the Bucks as 6-point favorites, so we’ve got the potential profit margin we need at –4 to put them in our NBA picks for a small sum.

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