Milwaukee Bucks (1-0) vs. Miami Heat (0-0)
October 21, 2021 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: Miami Heat +2.5; Over/Under: -224.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Miami Heat play host to the Milwaukee Bucks at the American Airlines Arena on Thursday night.
The Milwaukee Bucks will be looking embark on a three-game road trip after blowing past the Nets in a 127-104 home win on Tuesday night. Giannis Antetokounmpo was a man on a mission as he led the way with 32 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton each scored 20 points while Jordan Nwora chipped in with 15 points off the bench. As a team, the Bucks shot 45 percent from the field and 17 of 45 from the 3-point line as they exploded for 37 points in the first quarter to take an early double-digit lead, before holding the Nets to just 19 points in the fourth quarter to make it a blowout. Jrue Holiday left the game after just 18 minutes of action due to soreness in his heel but is currently listed as probable for Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Miami Heat had to make some moves in the offseason after getting swept by the Bucks in the first round last season and they went out and got Kyle Lowry who is a perfect fit at the point position, and PJ Tucker who is a perfect fit for the Heat’s hard-nosed defensive reputation. I expect the Heat to have a real bounce-back season and I think most of the pressure will be on Jimmy Butler who should thrive with his new teammates as he only has to focus on scoring. Bam Adebayo is still improving at the age of 24 and Victor Oladipo could return to form after playing just four games last season, so the Heat are a real dark horse this season.
Looking at the betting trends, the Bucks are 5-0 ATS in their last five games as a favorite and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games playing on one days rest. The Heat are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as an underdog, 22-9 ATS in their last 31 games playing on three or more days rest and 1-4 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record.
Head to head, the under is 21-8-1 in the last 30 meetings in Miami, the Bucks are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Miami and the Bucks are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall.
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The Bucks must be brimming with confidence as they tore apart the Nets after collecting their championship rings and they already know they can beat the Heat after sweeping them in the playoffs last season. The Heat made all the smart moves to get the right players that fit their scheme and I’m confident they will be a threat come playoff time, but it’s hard to back against the Bucks with the short line as we just haven’t seen the Heat play a game with their new lineup yet. I’ll take the Bucks in a close one.