Miami Heat (35-36) at Milwaukee Bucks (53-19)
March 22, 2019 @ 8:30 PM ET (Fiserv Forum)
Spread: Milwaukee -9 (O/U – 239)
NBA Picks and Parlays Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat
The Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the best record in the NBA with 53 wins and merely 19 losses, host a Miami Heat team Friday night who are desperate to stay in control of their own destiny. Despite their 5-5 record in their last 10 games, the Bucks are ready for the playoffs, and they have long since clinched a playoff spot and do not seem concerned with Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s day-to-day listing on the injury report. Miami is in sole possession of the eight seed, and are 8-2 in their last 10 games overall, with some quality wins coming on the road in San Antonio as well as Oklahoma City, and a pair of blowout wins against Detroit and Brooklyn. The Heat have little margin for error, as the Magic are only 2.5 games behind Miami and breathing down their necks. Miami will need to be at their very best the remainder of the season, as they face Boston twice, and a final regular season meeting against both Philadelphia and Toronto.
Milwaukee Bucks: We can’t look past the ugly loss against Cleveland without their superstar and MVP candidate, or the fact that they somehow couldn’t beat the Suns a few weeks or ago, let alone at all this season. But then again, Mike Budenholzer‘s team has responded seemingly after every loss or bad string of games. It always hurts losing, especially to inferior competition that you should beat, even without your best player, but the end of the regular season for the league’s elite teams is a time to get better while you still can, before the start of the tumultuous grind that is the NBA Playoffs. The Bucks will be just fine when one of the very best in the world, Giannis, is cleared from injury. Bucks fans will be encouraged by the play of the team, assuming the Bucks perform relatively well their last 10 games, some of which they may have to fare without Antetokounmpo. Malcolm Brogdon is out tonight as he continues to recover from a plantar fascia tear in his foot that could push back his return until after the first round of the playoffs, and Pau Gasol as well as Nikola Mirotic are out indefinitely.
Miami Heat: Miami is a feel-good story this season: a 37-year-old Dwayne Wade in his “last dance” before retiring, attempting to lead the same franchise that he won three championships with in an earnest, but seemingly impossible feat of bringing another Larry O’Brien Trophy to South Beach. There is also the case of Justise Winslow, who was thrown into the point guard role earlier in the season after Goran Dragic went down with an injury and there was not enough production from the second and third unit point guards. It’s rather comical that a team once bred haters everywhere after the acquisition of LeBron James is the same one that fans are hoping that can propel into the playoffs and give Dwayne Wade one last chance at post-season success. The Heat are facing an up-hill battle tonight, even as they face a Giannis-less Bucks team on the road. Justise Winslow and Rodney McGruder are both downgraded to out tonight, with both players having significant contributions in the starting lineup all season. Center Bam Adebayo is will likely get the starting, as Miami attempts to supplement their injuries with high-flying Derrick Jones Jr. at small forward, Dion Waiters at point guard, and Kelly Olynyk and Josh Richardson getting the nod to start as well. Richardson leads Miami with 16.8 points per game this season, and now more than ever needs to continue to put his foot on the gas if his team is going to maintain the eighth seed.
Cover the Spread 365 Betting Trends
Milwaukee is 16-8 ATS in its last 24 games
Milwaukee is 16-3 SU in its last 19 games at home
Milwaukee is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games when playing Miami
Miami is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Miami is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Miami is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Free NBA Expert Picks Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat
Josh Richardson will need to have a huge game, and Miami’s bench is going to have to be effective if Miami has any chance of winning tonight on the road. The Heat are without two starters, and their lack of depth all season has been concerning, despite their ability to hold the eight seedin the Eastern Conference . Regardless of the absence of Giannis, I’ll take the Bucks in Milwaukee tonight,but don’t expect a blowout.
Prediction: Milwaukee -9