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Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat NBA Playoff Odds, Picks & Predictions

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 4 mins

Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat NBA Playoff Odds, Picks & Predictions

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The Milwaukee Bucks begin their quest for a second NBA championship in three seasons, and they’ll do so as the No. 1 overall seed of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. 

The Bucks won 58 games and secured the best record in the NBA by a single game over the Boston Celtics, and by five games over the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets. 

Bucks All-Star guard Khris Middleton (knee) has been battling injuries all season, and his status for Game 1 of Milwaukee’s first-round matchup is in question. He continues rehabbing “in the hopes of being ready” for the opening tip. 

Miami went 2-2 vs. Milwaukee in the regular season, with the teams going 2-0 at home. That said, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Middleton didn’t play in either game at Miami. 

Ahead of Game 1, Bookies.com breaks down the series and makes our NBA picks to back on betting apps.

Bucks vs. Heat Game 1 Odds

Bucks vs. Heat Betting Tips

Favorite Not Favored: The Bucks are +265 favorites to win the NBA title on sports betting apps, but history tells us that’s not necessarily a good thing for Giannis and Co. The last team to enter the NBA Playoffs as championship favorites and actually win it all was back in 2018, when Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors took care of business. They were strong favorites that year at +140. 

Middle Man: The Bucks are typically a better team with All-Star Khris Middleton in the lineup. But this season, that hasn’t been the case. With Giannis and Middleton starting, Milwaukee was 11-6 (64.7%). With just Giannis but no Khris, the Bucks were 39-10 (79.6%). 

Under On The Stars: Miami had three players average over 20 points per game this season, the eighth team in the last 30 years to do so. Of the other seven teams, three of them didn’t make the playoffs. The other four were Golden State Warriors for three years from 2017-19 and the Boston Celtics of 2020. They all won their opening-round series (granted, three of those four had prime Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson). Against the Bucks this year, all three Heat players averaged under their season average. 

Bucks vs. Heat Best Bets

The Bucks are massive -1000 favorites on NBA betting sites to win their first-round series. It’s not a shock, considering the regular season they had and the relative struggles of the Heat. 

There are questions for Milwaukee going in. We don’t know what level of commitment we’re going to get with Middleton. Miami took both games at home (albeit vs. a very shorthanded opponent). Miami is a veteran-laden team. 

Still, in the two games featuring Giannis, the Bucks won by 29 and by 8. In the only close game, Giannis had 35 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. With several key pending free agents, we expect Milwaukee to show up strong this postseason, beginning right here. Bucks to win the series at -1000 seems like easy money but with a ton of risk (you never know which ankle might get turned). Bucks in 5 at +205 is the favorite series exact score. We’ll go with it. 

Best Bet: Bucks In Five Games at +205

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Bucks vs. Heat Schedule

  • Game 1: Miami at Milwaukee,  Sun., April 16, 5:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
  • Game 2: Miami at Milwaukee, Wed., April 19, 9 p.m. ET (NBA TV)
  • Game 3: Milwaukee at Miami, Sat., April 22, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Game 4: Milwaukee at Miami, Mon., April 24, TBD
  • *Game 5: Miami at Milwaukee, Wed., April 26, TBD
  • *Game 6: Milwaukee at Miami, Fri, April 28, TBD
  • *Game 7: Miami at Milwaukee, Sun., April 20, TBD

*if necessary

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.