Bucks at Heat
March 15, 2019
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by Kyle Markus
NBA Game Preview - Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat
If the playoffs started today, the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks would face off with the No. 8 seed Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference postseason. The teams will play this week in a possible preview of that playoff showdown. Miami is at home, which could give it a chance to win this game, but Milwaukee is the vastly superior team and should still be favored.
The Bucks are three games ahead of the Raptors for the No. 1 seed in the East. Milwaukee has great odds of clinching not only that but also the best record in the NBA. Miami is the front-runner to claim the No. 8 seed but cannot relax because there are several teams on its tail.
This is a critical clash for the Heat, which would love to pull off the upset in NBA wagering.
This NBA basketball game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat will be held at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, March 15th, 2019. The game will be nationally televised on NBA TV.
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The Bucks have a record of 51-17 on the season, which is several games better than anyone else in the league. Milwaukee has won seven of its past 10 games and has been the model of consistency this year, rarely losing back-to-back games. The Bucks are an impressive 24-12 on the road this year, and will look to keep that up in this one.
Miami is 32-35 on the season. The Heat is two games ahead of the Magic and Hornets for the final postseason berth in the East. Miami has not been that good at home this year with a 16-16 mark and would really benefit from a win in this one in NBA odds.
Both teams are fairly healthy, but it seems like Milwaukee will likely be without point guard George Hill in this one. He is battling a groin injury that has kept him out for a significant stretch. George isn’t the most important player on the team but he is a nice complementary piece off the bench.
Hill is averaging 7.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He is shooting 44.3 percent from the floor and 32.3 percent from three-point range. The Bucks aren’t going to be affected by his absence in this one, but they hope to be of full health when the playoffs come around because making it to the NBA Finals is a legitimate aspiration and it would be nice to have all hands on deck.
Player To Watch
Goran Dragic -- The Miami point guard is a talented player, but he has missed a big chunk of this season due to a knee injury. Dragic has returned to play the last three games, and while his minutes have been limited, it’s still been a welcome return.
Miami needs everyone on its roster to play well in order to knock off the Bucks, and Dragic is talented enough to have a big game. He is averaging 14.7 points and 4.1 assists per game on the year. In three games since returning to the floor, Dragic is averaging 10.7 points and 2.7 assists in about 19 minutes per game.
Miami may choose to keep him on the court longer in this one if Dragic is playing well, as he has been playing long enough to feel better about the knee.
Free NBA ATS Picks
The Heat gets this one at home and has the bigger ramifications from the result, so it will certainly play hard. However, the Bucks are just too talented and deep. Milwaukee is getting close to wrapping up the No. 1 seed in the East, and once it does that, the Bucks can rest a bit and get ready for what they hope to be a deep postseason run.
Look for Milwaukee to grab control of this game by early in the second half and hold off any run Miami might threaten with. The Bucks are the pick to not only win this game but also cover the spread in NBA gambling.
NBA ATS Pick: Milwaukee Bucks 112, Miami Heat 103
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