Heat vs Bucks: Milwaukee's Offense Has the Edge

Action Network contributor Kenny Ducey details how to bet Heat vs Bucks in Monday's matchup.

Heat vs Bucks Odds

Heat Odds +6.5
Bucks Odds -6.5
Moneyline +215 / -196
Over/Under 225
Time Monday, 8 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Milwaukee Bucks labored through a tough loss at home to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday evening, but with Khris Middleton expected back on Monday things could certainly turn around against the Heat.

Can Miami avoid falling to 1-3 here, or will a fully-loaded Bucks offense prove to be too much? Let’s dig into it in our Heat vs. Bucks preview and prediction.

Heat vs Bucks Prediction

The Heat have an offensive rating of 104 points per 100 possessions through three games, and if you include their five preseason games they’re around 106 points per 100 possessions. That’s a downright awful number, and it does little to inspire any confidence in this Heat offense moving forward after it ranked 25th a season ago.

Miami will be playing in a pace-up game here against a Bucks team that loves to get out in transition, and I have some massive doubts about its ability to keep up offensively. Milwaukee had a solid showing offensively in its season-opening win over the Sixers, scoring nearly 113 points per 100 possessions against a very good defense, and while it was flat on Saturday it got nothing out of Damian Lillard on an off shooting night. With Middleton back in the fold and Lillard regressing positively to the mean, I expect the Bucks to return to form here and handle business against a team which has really struggled to score the ball.

Milwaukee’s offense is just scratching the surface of its full potential, and I think it will continue to grow as the weeks go on. This should be an important game against an accomplished defense, but we’ve already seen Miami struggle this season against Boston on that end. I expect another power in the East to take down Erik Spoelstra’s group.

Heat vs Bucks Picks

The Bucks defense absolutely suffocated the Heat in last year’s playoffs, and despite the loss of Jrue Holiday they should be more than capable of doing that again given what we’ve seen out of Miami in the last few weeks. Milwaukee was also a whopping 10-2-1 against the spread last season on the second night of a back-to-back, giving me all the confidence I need here that the Bucks will cover the 5.5 points.

We don’t have an official injury report out yet for the Bucks, but the handicap changes a bit if Middleton is ruled out for a second straight game. I wouldn’t have quite the same level of confidence in this offense given what it did on Saturday, but then again we can expect Damian Lillard to convert on more than two shot attempts from the field.

As was the case last year, too, injuries are already mounting for Miami with Josh Richardson and Caleb Martin expected to miss this one. The Bucks should roll on both ends.

Pick: Bucks -5.5 (-110)