By Bill Speros | | 3 mins
Underdog Heat Look To Go Up 3-0 On Bucks In Friday NBACast
The Milwaukee Bucks began the season as a prohibitive favorite to win the NBA Eastern Conference. They held that top spot after play resumed inside the bubble at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. But after a pair of losses to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Bucks are no longer the clear choice of oddsmakers to reach the Finals.
Game 3 tips Friday night. The Bucks are 5-point favorites - after whiffing as a 5.5-point choice in Game 2 – in the early line at DraftKings. Bettors can fetch the Bucks at -192 at DK while the Heat will earn you +180 at bet365. The total is 223.5 at BetMGM. You can get complete up-to-the minute live Heat-Bucks Game 3 Friday odds here.
Those who indulge in NBA betting can follow the action, analysis and break-out stats in real time on the Bookies.com-sponsored #NBACast, hosted by NBA experts Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux. The #NBACast offers live, in-game, trends and — as always — both Duncan and Leroux will take your in-game questions. Play begins at approximately 6:30 p.m. ET. The game will also air on TNT as the front end of a doubleheader. The second game of the evening features the Lakers (-6.5) against the Rockets. That one begins at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
Butler Steals Spotlight From Antetokounmpo
The looming question for Giannis Antetokounmpo remains this: “Can he get his game in gear against the Miami Heat defense?” The Greek Freak has been merely average in his two games thus far – averaging 23.5 points and 12 rebounds. While the heat outdoors in Central Florida this time of year is stifling, the Heat have been swarming and smothering inside the bubble. Beyond Milwaukee needing him to breakout on the stat sheet, Antetokounmpo needs to bounce back from his mental flub at the end of Game 2 in which he came too close to comfort and was hit with a shooting foul on Jimmy Butler. While the call was questionable – if not ridiculous – the contact Antetokounmpo made after Butler let go of the ball was a rookie-like mistake.
Butler, who had 13 points, closed out the Heat win in Game 2 by dropping a pair of free throws with 0.0 showing on the clock. Butler scored 40 points in the 115-104 Heat Game 1 victory. He is not the only offensive tool available for Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. His team had seven players in double figures in their 116-114 victory Wednesday. Gorgan Dragic led the Heat with 23 points, marking the sixth consecutive postseason game in which he has scored at least 20. The other Heat in double figures Wednesday included Tyler Herro (17), Jae Crowder (16), Bam Adebayo (15), Duncan Robinson (13) and Kelly Olynyk (11).
Prop & Futures Bets For Bucks, Heat
Oddsmakers focused on NBA futures betting installed the Bucks as -500 favorites before this series began. The Heat were +360. Now, the odds have flattened. The Heat are -167 at DraftKings, while the Bucks are down to +135. Where the Bucks were favorites to win the East going back to last October, they are now +240 at Caesars, trailing the Boston Celtics at +175. The Heat have crept back to contention as +450 at William Hill. Both the Heat and Bucks are now even at +800 to win the NBA Championship as several books.
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