NBA Picks: Heat vs. Bucks

Steven Suarez

Friday, March 15, 2013 12:49 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 15, 2013 12:49 PM GMT

The Heat has now won 20 games in a row, though they could face much more of a challenge tonight in a road game against Milwaukee. Let's examine the NBA odds for this matchup.

Heat vs. Bucks

Odds Overview 

The Bucks are getting as many as 6.5 points from NBA odds makers for this visit of the defending champions.

We see a total of 202.5 on the board. The UNDER is 5-1 in Miami's last six road contests, but the OVER is 6-1 in Milwaukee's previous seven overall.

Miami Heat

Chalmers, Wade, James, Haslem, Bosh

Curious to know when the last time the Heat lost was? Well, you would have to rewind all the way back to February 1st, when the champions lost on the road to Indiana.

Since that day, Miami has been practically unstoppable, winning 20 straight and going a solid 12-8 ATS. They've beaten some top teams including Oklahoma City, Memphis, Indiana and the L.A. Clippers and aren't really showing any signs of slowing down.

The Heat have been off since Wednesday night's 98-94 victory over Philadelphia. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 48 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists, while Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen came through with 28 bench points.

Twenty straight wins is an incredible feat, but it's only going to get more and more difficult as we go forward. There was already a huge target on Miami's back, and now it's growing with each and every consecutive victory.

Erik Spoelstra's team has been getting it done on the road lately, covering the spread in seven of their last eight. Curiously enough though, the Heat are just 2-5 ATS in their previous seven Friday contests.

Also, check out our NBA picks of the day today and get a step on those bookies.

Milwaukee Bucks

Jennings, Ellis, Dunleavy, Ilyasova, Sanders

Milwaukee begins a three-game home stand with a must-see showdown against the Heat. They could desperately use a win, considering they've lost two in a row.

On Wednesday night the Bucks fell in the capital, losing 106-93 to the Wizards as 1.5-point favorites. Monta Ellis, despite the loss, was extremely efficient on the offensive end, pouring in 26 points on 12-of-19 shooting and adding eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. Meanwhile, both Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders had double-doubles.

Despite this little losing streak of theirs, Milwaukee has enjoyed a solid nine-game run which has seen them go 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS.

Over their last 20 games overall though, the Bucks have limped to a 6-14 ATS mark, while they're 18-37 ATS in their previous 55 at home dating back to last season.

Milwaukee's defense has really been letting them down, as they've allowed 108.8 PPG on 49.2 percent shooting over their last five contests. Compare that to Miami and their 91.0 PPG allowed in the same number of games and you can see why the road team is favored by almost seven points here.

[gameodds]5/221465/43/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick

The Bucks have proven to be a tough out for the reigning champs this season. In two meetings, both of which took place in late 2012, Milwaukee took Miami to overtime in South Beach and then beat the Heat 104-85 at home.

And, as difficult as it may be to go against a team that hasn't lost in seemingly forever, we think this value on the Bucks is too good to leave on the table.

The Bucks have the offensive firepower to keep up with LeBron and company, with that Jennings/Ellis backcourt playing at an extremely high level and the likes of Ilyasova, Dunleavy and Redick all able to knock down shots from anywhere on the court.

We expect a rowdy crowd for tonight's game and will be backing the home dogs to cash in what should be a fun one to watch for this NBA pick.

NBA Picks: Milwaukee Bucks +6.5 Bet365

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