The two-time defending champions are favored by 14.5 points on mast NBA odds boards. Miami is a miserable 2-5 ATS so far, with Milwaukee at 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS.
The total is in the 197.5 to 198.5 range, with the OVER hitting in five of the Heat's seven matchups and in two of the Bucks' five games thus far.
You may remember these two teams met up in the playoffs last year, with Miami winning 4-1.
Well, much has changed in Milwaukee since then, with Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, J.J. Redick, Luc Mbah a Moute and Mike Dunleavy all ending up in new places. Plus, Larry Sanders is hurt and is set to miss some significant time.
To fill in the missing pieces, the Bucks brought in O.J. Mayo and also reached deals with Brandon Knight, Gary Neal, Caron Butler and Zaza Pachulia.
So far, the results have been mixed. Milwaukee has beaten Boston on the road and Cleveland at home and has lost to Toronto, Dallas and the New York Knicks. The Bucks were last in action three nights ago in a 91-83 home defeat to the Mavericks.
Mayo and Butler stood out in the loss. Mayo had 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting and Butler acme up with 19 points and 13 rebounds. They were the only two players to reach double figures.
The Heat had won three straight games before a downright shocking last-second loss to the Celtics on Saturday night.
Miami was up two with 0.6 seconds remaining, but Jeff Green hit a base-line three over LeBron to give Boston the 111-110 win. Coming in, the Heat were favored by 13 points.
In the loss, LeBron still went off for 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, while Chris Bosh had 20 points and seven boards and Dwyane Wade was good for 18 points and seven dimes. Mario Chalmers, Chris Andersen and even Michael Beasley all hit double figures as well.
But Miami was too lackadaisical throughout, especially on defense, and it came back to bite them in front of their home fans against a team that's re-building. Boston shot 51.7 percent from the floor and 47.6 percent from three and also won the rebounding battle 39 to 31.
The reigning champs have now failed to cover in five of their last six matchups. Will that trend change tonight at home?
The Heat are just coasting right now, as they're trying to take every precaution necessary in order to be healthy heading into the playoffs. A three-peat is ridiculously hard to accomplish and a lot of things have to go right.
Nonetheless, there's something to be said for a complete mismatch in talent and here we have it.
Not only is Miami the way more talented team, they also have added motivation as they look to rebound after an embarrassing home loss. Dating back to last season, the Heat are 13-3 ATS following a straight up defeat.
Sure this is a lot of points, but we are thinking this will turn into one of those typical Miami blowouts that we've seen so often over the past couple of years. Lay the chalk and back LeBron and company to respond in dominating fashion.
Pick: Miami Heat -14.5