Heat vs. Bucks: Can Miami Pull Off Another Upset?

Tyler Schmidt previews how to bet Heat vs. Bucks Game 2, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Wednesday's game.

Heat vs. Bucks Odds

Heat Odds +6
Bucks Odds -6
Over/Under 219
Time 9 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The main story of this Eastern Conference playoff clash between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat is the injuries. Giannis Antetokounmpo injured his back and had to leave Game 1 after playing just 11 minutes. He is doubtful to play Wednesday, which has already moved the line from the Bucks -9 to -6.

The Heat have nothing to lose in Game 2 as they have already captured home-court advantage.  Unfortunately, they did lose Tyler Herro for the next four-to-six weeks with a broken hand. Losing out on a 20-point scorer will be tough to overcome against the best team in the league. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will need to star to win another in Milwaukee.

The Bucks are favored by six points at home. They have failed to cover the spread in each of their past four home playoff games and if Antetokounmpo is ruled out, it is difficult to imagine the Bucks running away with this game. The total has also dropped from 222 to 219, despite both teams combining for 247 points in Game 1. So, let’s make a betting pick for Heat vs. Buck Game 2.

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Miami Heat

The Heat’s style of play and toughness will muck up this game and keep it competitive. Even without an entire half from Herro, the Heat scored 130 points in Game 1. That was their fourth time scoring 130+ points this year and they first time doing so on the road. Miami shot a ridiculous 59.5% from the field and 60% from behind the arc. That may not be sustainable, but expect the Heat to keep this game tight.

It should be obvious that the Bucks’ defense suffers without Antetokounmpo. The Heat had 62 points in the paint in Game 1, compared to 48 from the Bucks’. The Bucks have struggled scoring all year with Antetokounmpo out. They are averaging 112.8 points per game without Antetokounmpo and to 118.2 per game with him.

Butler had a double-double with 35 points and 11 rebounds, while shooting 15 of 27 from the field in Game 1. Adebayo had a near triple-double with 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. They also combined for five steals.

The Heat were the second-worst team in the league against the spread with a 32-49-4 record. However, there is a good chance they will smell blood in the water if Antetokounmpo is out. Miami will rely on its defense, which allowed 109.8 points per game this season and ranked as the second-best in the league. Their second-slowest Pace (96.7) will also keep this game in the half court. Six points feels like a little much in this spot.

Milwaukee Bucks

When Antetokounmpo was sidelined this season, the Bucks had an 11-8 record. This is still a dangerous team, especially with Khris Middleton, who had a team-high 33 points in Game 1, healthy. Overall, it’s been a down year for Middleton, who is averaging 15 points per game. He will need to have a big game to cover this spread without Antetokounmpo.

Jrue Holiday also stepped up in a big way once Antetokounmpo went down. Holiday finished with a 16-point and 16-assist double-double, despite shooting 6-of-18 from the field.

Brook Lopez will need to play much better in Game 2 as the last line of defense. He averaged a career-high 2.5 blocks per game this season and had three blocks in the first game. In his fifth year with the Bucks, Lopez has been fantastic and is averaging his most points, rebounds and blocks since coming to the team in 2018.

As good as the Bucks were this season, they are a completely different team without Antetokounmpo in the lineup. They don’t play until Saturday, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they gave Antetokounmpo more rest. Not only can Milwaukee still win this game, but it can still win this series — even if it goes down 0-2. The Bucks are clearly the better team.

Heat-Bucks Pick

The key to this game is clearly Antetokounmpo’s status. He is doubtful, though I expect him to sit as Milwaukee’s goals are bigger than just Game 2. In the minimal chance Antetokounmpo does play, the Heat are still in a favorable spot and can cover the six points. However, this line would also move back up to double digits if Antetokounmpo is able to play. This is a great spot to take the Heat +6 and even sprinkle a little on the moneyline.

If Antetokounmpo is ruled out and this line moves in the Heat’s favor, I would go no further than +4.5. Butler and Adebayo will lead a Herro-less Heat team to a competitive Game 2. It wouldn’t surprise me if they also took a 2-0 lead on the best team in the league before heading back to South Beach.

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