Did anyone expect the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks to be on the brink of elimination in the first round of the playoffs?
Nope, but that’s exactly the predicament they find themselves in heading into Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal best-of-seven series with the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Jimmy Butler’s heroic 56-point performance in Game 4 on Monday lifted the Heat to a 119-114 win and gave the team a commanding 3-1 series lead, forcing the Bucks into a do-or-die situation at home in Game 5.
With their backs against the wall, the Bucks are huge 11.5-point home favourites on Wednesday with the total set at 220 points.
Heat vs. Bucks odds
|Heat Moneyline Odds||+475|
|Bucks Moneyline Odds||-650|
|Over/Under||220 points (over -110, under +110)|
|Spread||Bucks -11.5 (-110)|
|Series odds||Heat -135, Bucks +115|
|Time/Date||Wednesday, April 26, 9:30 p.m. ET|
Stream: NBA League Pass
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Previous matchups in series
Miami is 3-1 straight-up and against the spread in the series and all four games have played over the total. These trends should be taken with a grain of salt, though, as Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo played limited minutes in Game 1 and missed the following two games entirely due to lower back soreness.
|Date||Home Team||Spread Odds||Result||Total|
|April 16 (Game 1)||Milwaukee||Bucks -9||130-117 Heat||221 (over)|
|April 19 (Game 2)||Milwaukee||Bucks -5.5||138-122 Bucks||216 (over)|
|April 22 (Game 3)||Miami||Bucks -2||121-99 Heat||216 (over)|
|April 24 (Game 4)||Miami||Bucks -7.5||119-114 Heat||217.5 (over)|
About the Heat (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS, 4-0 o/u)
Butler’s 56 points were the fourth-most ever scored in an NBA playoff game, trailing only Michael Jordan (63, 1986), Elgin Baylor (61, 1962), and Donovan Mitchell (57, 2020). His point total in Game 4 also set a new personal and franchise record for single points in a playoff game.
Jimmy Buckets is averaging an incredible 16.5 points in first quarters this series and has at least 14 points to open all four games. His line is 9.5 points (-130 on the over) in the opening quarter at bet365 on Wednesday.
Unfortunately for the Heat, they’ll be missing some contributors for the remainder of the series and potentially beyond. Tyler Herro (hand) and Victor Oladipo (knee) will be surely missed by the shorthanded Heat as they attempt to close out this series.
About the Bucks (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS, 4-0 o/u)
Only 13 teams in NBA history have successfully overcome 3-1 series deficits, but oddsmakers are respecting the Bucks’ chances as evidenced by their +115 series odds. In case you were wondering, the Denver Nuggets were the last team to accomplish the feat (twice) in 2020.
Antetokounmpo recorded his third career triple-double with 26 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds in his return to action in Game 4, but it was obvious he was in discomfort due to his back injury at times throughout the game. His health will be the dominant storyline for the remainder of the series, and the Bucks need their best player to lead a comeback attempt.
One bright spot for Milwaukee against Miami this season has been its potent three-point shooting. The Bucks have made an incredible 138 three-pointers (17.25 per game) in eight games against the Heat, including the playoffs.
As previously noted, Oladipo (knee) and Herro (hand) are out for the Heat. Bam Adebayo is nursing a hamstring strain, but he’s probable for Game 5.
Bucks wing Wesley Matthews is expected to return for the Bucks after straining his right calf in Game 1. Antetokounmpo is probable with his back injury.
- The over is 6-0 in the past six meetings.
- Heat are 7-3 ATS in the past 10 meetings.
- Bucks are 1-5 ATS in their last six games.
- Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last five games.
Player prop trends
- Heat guard Kyle Lowry has exactly one steal in each of his last five games and eight of his last 10. He’s -125 to record over 0.5 steals in Game 5. Toronto Raptors fans know just how pesky of a defender Lowry can be in the postseason. The veteran has averaged 1.3 steals over 111 career playoff games.
- Heat forward Caleb Martin has scored 12 points or more in every game of the series. His points line is 9.5 tonight and the over is -115.
- Bucks guard Jrue Holiday has been helping out on the glass recently, recording five rebounds or more in six straight games. His line is 4.5 rebounds and the over is -155.
- Heat centre Bam Adebayo has had slippery fingers lately, turning the ball over at least three times in each of his last five games. You can bet on him turning the ball over at least three times at -110.
Wagers to consider
- Heat +11.5: (-110). This seems like a lot of points to give the Heat. Sure, the Bucks will throw everything at them and likely come away with a win in a do-or-die Game 5, but a double-digit loss just doesn’t seem likely for a confident Miami squad in this one.
- Bucks 1st quarter spread: -4 (-115). With the home crowd behind them in a must-win game, the Bucks should come out flying and grab a substantial early lead.
- Bet boost – same game parlay – Bucks to win, Brook Lopez over 2.5 blocks, Giannis Antetokounmpo to score 30 or more points: +450. There’s no value in betting the Bucks moneyline, so parlaying Lopez to record three blocks and Giannis to record 30 or more points is a good way to increase a payout. Lopez is coming off a three-block performance in Game 4 and he also had three blocks in Game 1. Giannis is always a threat to score 30 or more (averaged 31.1 per game during the regular season) and he’ll be playing big minutes in the most important game of the year for the Bucks.