The NBA is back again, and Monday brings us a two-game betting card with some intriguing spots to target. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks: MIA +5.5 (-113)
Not to put too much stock in the regular season but the Heat fared very well against the Bucks this season. Miami started the season with a five-point road win in overtime in Milwaukee without Jimmy Butler and then handled the Bucks by 16 with Butler back in the lineup in Miami. You probably remember the matchup between these two in the bubble, as the Heat not only blew a 22-point lead but also failed to cover as 9.5-point underdogs. However, Butler also missed that game, along with Goran Dragic, who’s been crucial for Miami in the bubble.
I think the public is sleeping on the Bucks a bit after struggling with the Magic. But the reality is, after losing Game 1, the Bucks won the next four games by 14-plus points in the series. I’m not fading Milwaukee here by any means but I’m buying in on the Heat. I think they’re for real and capable of hanging in this matchup, which I’ll expand on later in another bet for the series.
Player Prop — Top Point Scorer: Giannis Antetokounmpo/James Harden Parlay (-106)
There isn’t a ton on the board to bet and you never want to force bets since there are just two games. But this one caught my eye as a creative way to back the two studs on this slate — both of whom are -250 to be the leading scorer in their respective game. Harden feels like the surest thing here, leading four of the first five games in the series against OKC in scoring. Not only would it take a huge game from someone else but Harden also has to have a pretty bad game not to be the leading scorer.
Giannis is where things get tricky, as he was just 2-2-1 as the game’s leading scorer in the first round. But Nikola Vucevic was shredding the Bucks and the Heat don’t have that one scorer that’s going to go for 30-plus. Butler is great but this is a balanced team with Bam Adebayo, Dragic and lots of perimeter shooting. I think the balance of Miami’s offense helps Giannis’ odds to lead the game in scoring significantly. Dragic’s 25 against the Bucks in October is the most a member of the Heat has scored against the Bucks this season and that was with Butler sidelined.
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Series Lines — Total Games Played: MIA/MIL OVER 5.5 (-117)
Simplifying this bet, we’re betting on this series to go at least six games here, meaning each team needs to win two games to get there. I think this line is a little disrespectful to the Heat, who swept the Pacers in the first round with nearly the same dominance the Bucks had in their four wins. And, of course, we saw the Bucks can come out and get caught off guard, losing that first game to Orlando. I think Miami is a good betting value to actually win the series but getting two games feels like a very strong outcome, especially when you factor in regular-season outcomes. Butler is leading Miami with the mindset it can win a title this season and I think that confidence will really help in this series. A 4-1 series either way would surprise me a lot.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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