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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat - 12/5/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Miami Heat (9-9) at Milwaukee Bucks (10-10)

NBA Basketball: Friday, December 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm (Bradley Center)

The Line: Milwaukee Bucks -2 -- Over/Under: 197.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: SUN, FSWI

The Milwaukee Bucks host the Miami Heat in a battle between two .500 teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Miami Heat are 9-9 to start the year but really you can pin much of the success and failure the team has seen on the health and production of star guard Dwyane Wade.  Wade has missed seven of the team’s 18 games but he’s been producing when playing with 21.2 points, 5.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.  The contributions from Chris Bosh have been steadier and more impressive overall though with the big man averaging 21.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.  The Heat have struggled with team rebounding ranking last in the league with just 36.3 per game.  Defensively the Heat rank 9th while allowing just 97.8 points per game but that stat can be a little misleading when looking at the team’s change in pace without the transition game which LeBron previously spearheaded.  The Heat struggled to score in a 91-84 loss to the Bucks in Miami on November 16th, a game in which Milwaukee dominated in paint points 46-24.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat - 12/5/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks are a young and exciting team that has recently given the Cavaliers and Mavericks all they could handle in their latest two games.  Unfortunately both efforts came up just short as the 10-10 Bucks are actually on a three game losing streak.  Brandon Knight is having a great season at point guard with 17.9 points, six assists and 4.8 rebounds per game and rookie Jabari Parker is averaging 12.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.  The Bucks will be weakened here with roster-staple Ersan Ilyasova slated to miss this contest with a nasal fracture and concussion sustained in the team’s loss at Cleveland.  The Bucks have the necessary depth to take on a next-man-up mentality though which was evidenced by Khris Middleton’s 21 points last time out in Ilyasova’s absence.   Milwaukee is just 5-4 on their home floor this year but all the losses came against respectable teams.

These teams combined for just 175 points in the first meeting so I’m taking the under with expectations for a similar pace and result.   

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Under 197.5 (1 unit)

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