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Heat vs. Bucks pick against the spread, best player prop for Game 1

We go over some of the best betting options for the NBA first round 2021 NBA playoff matchup between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat smiles during the game against the Boston Celtics on May 9, 2021 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

In the first of four playoff games to tipoff Saturday, we have the No. 6 seed Miami Heat playing the No. 3 seed Milwaukee Bucks at 2:00 p.m. ET. The last time these two teams played each other, the Bucks defeated the Heat 122-108 last week towards the end of the season.

The Heat are entering Game 1 of this first-round series off a loss against the Bucks, but they won four out of their last five games to secure playoff spot. This season, Miami is averaging 108.1 points per game, which is good for 25th in the NBA. But they’re holding opponents to only 108 points per game, which is good for 5th in the association.

The Bucks lost their regular season finale to the Chicago Bulls, but before that defeat were on a three-game winning streak. Milwaukee has a record of 3-2 in their last five games and won season series against Miami (2-1). The Bucks are averaging 120.1 points per game (1st in the NBA) and holding opposing teams to 114.2 points per game (22nd in the league). We’ll go over some ideal picks with DraftKings Sportsbook odds.

Update: Here are some betting splits from this afternoon before Game 1 via DKSB.

Heat-Bucks Game 1 Betting Splits

Teams Point Spread % Handle % Bets Total Points % Handle % Bets Moneyline % Handle % Bets
Teams Point Spread % Handle % Bets Total Points % Handle % Bets Moneyline % Handle % Bets
MIA Heat 5 45% 39% Over 226.5 34% 58% 165 11% 19%
MIL Bucks -5 55% 61% Under 226.5 66% 42% -200 89% 81%

Heat vs. Bucks, 2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN

Pick ATS: Heat +5

The Heat are hoping that they can recapture their magic from last season that saw them go all the way to the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. On their road to the Finals, they defeated the No. 1 seed Bucks 4-1 in the semifinals in the bubble, which sent shockwaves around the league. However, the Heat has not had major success against the Bucks in the regular season this year.

Milwaukee took two out of three from Heat, which includes two double digit victories. The Bucks are hoping that Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday can hold off the trio of Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo. Milwaukee is listed as five-point favorites, but they are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games. The Bucks are 2-4 ATS in their last six home games vs. Miami. As for Miami, they are 5-1 ATS in their last six games and 13-7 ATS in their last 20 games against the Bucks. Furthermore, the Heat are 19-17 this season on the road against the spread. If they can contain the Bucks’ shooting from three-point range and keep Giannis in check, then they could make it competitive.

Player Prop: Khris Middleton over 5.5 rebounds (-109)

Anytime I see Middleton’s rebounds or assists props at a reasonable price, it is a no-brainer selection. For the Bucks to win Game 1 and ultimately the series, they will need him to make his mark. This season, Middleton averaged 6.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. In his last five games, the two-time All-Star forward has gone over 5.5 rebounds three times. This season against the Heat, Middleton is averaging six rebounds per game (3 games).

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