NBA Picks: Heat vs. Bucks Game 3

Steven Suarez

Thursday, April 25, 2013 12:19 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 25, 2013 12:19 PM GMT

So far so good for LeBron and the Heat. Will they be able to get one step closer to a sweep with a Game 3 win in Milwaukee tonight? With odds makers setting the bar high, should NBA bettors back a Heat cover tonight?


Odds Overview

Heat backers were left frustrated after a fateful backdoor cover for Milwaukee in Game 2. The Heat came in favored by 14 points at most sportsbooks and ended up winning by 12 after some late (and meaningless) buckets dropped for the Bucks. 

In Game 3, Miami again finds themselves favored, this time by 7.5 points. Current NBA odds are offering the total at either 194 or 194.5.

[gameodds]5/226788/43/us[/gameodds]

Miami Heat

It wasn't nearly as easy as Game 1, but the Heat still found a way and ended up winning 98-86. They shot 44.9 percent from the floor, 31.6 percent from three, and were an impressive 22-of-26 at the charity stripe. 

The scoring was much more balanced for the Heat in Game 2. Dwyane Wade had 21 points and seven boards, LeBron James posted a 19/8/6 line, and Chris Bosh, Shane Battier, and Chris Andersen all had 10 points each in the victory. 

Again Miami's defense was able to buckle down and get the job done when it was needed most. The Bucks were unable to score more than 23 points in any of the four quarters and were held to 4-of-18 shooting from deep. 

The Heat are now an insane 39-2 SU over their last 41 games. Yes, you read that right. During that span, they've gone 26-15 ATS, so it's not like they haven't been profitable for their backers either.

We get that the playoffs are a different level altogether, but it's still worth noting Miami has gone 19-7 versus the spread over their last 26 road contests.  

Milwaukee Bucks 

It was a valiant effort from the Bucks in Game 2, as they were actually leading by five at one point and looked much more capable overall. 

This time around, it wasn't Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis that carried the load. Actually, both guards really struggled, scoring a mere 15 points between them. Jennings was 3-of-15 from the field and 0-7 from three, while Ellis was 2-of-7 overall. 

Keeping Milwaukee competitive were more unheralded guys like Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders, and Mike Dunleavy. 

Ilyasova set the tone with a great first half and finished with a team-high 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Sanders had 14 points (6-of-7 FG) and five blocks and Dunleavy hit some big shots en route to a 16/6/5 line in 25 minutes off the bench. 

Now the Bucks return home, where they're 6-14 ATS over their last 20 games overall. That being said, they were able to beat Miami 104-85 at home all the way back in December, so we've seen what they're capable of when at their best. 

Game 3 Pick 

As competitive as the Bucks looked for most of Game 2, eventually we saw Miami's superiority take over. We expect more of the same in Game 3. 

Considering the Heat have lost two games in an almost three-month span, it's simply too difficult to recommend a wager against them. This team simply knows how to win no matter the circumstances, so we're not worried about how they'll handle what's sure to be a wild crowd in Milwaukee. 

Sure it's going to be a popular public play, but we have to back Miami with our NBA picks, as we expect them to cover this relatively high number on the road. They'll want to wrap up this series as soon as possible in order to get ready for the conference semi-finals, so we're looking for them to play relentless ball on both ends of the court tonight.

Free NBA Pick: Miami Heat -7.5

Take a look at our NBA Picks of the Day for another take on this matchup.
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