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NBA Free Pick | Heat vs. Bucks | Game 5

September 7, 2020
Heat take on Bucks in Game 5 - Free Pick

This was supposed to be Milwaukee’s year. The Bucks had the best regular season record in the NBA. Then, COVID-19 hit.

Milwaukee headed to the bubble in Orlando and continued to eat up the competition. That is, until they met their nemesis – the Miami Heat.

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Fighting off elimination in Game 4 without their star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks now face the thought of going home…again. Will it happen?

Game: Miami Heat (51-30 (42-37-2 ATS) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (61-21, 44-38 ATS)
When: 6:30 PM ET, Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Where: HP Field House, Kissimmee, Florida
Current Line: MIA -3.5 Total: 216
TV Coverage: TNT

Much of what happens on Tuesday night will come down to whether or not Antetokounmpo plays. Keep track of multiple online sportsbooks for the best betting line. The Greek Freak is listed as questionable and one would figure with his team facing elimination the reigning MVP is going to play.

The question then becomes “will he be 100 percent?” Antetokounmpo had injured the ankle in Game 3 and was listed as questionable for Game 4. He started the game and scored 19 of Milwaukee’s first 30 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

When Antetokoumpo went out of the lineup in Game 4, Khris Middleton picked up the slack. A look at NBA scores shows that Middleton finished with 36 points, including a huge three-pointer with 6.4 seconds to play that sealed the Bucks’ victory.

Middleton will have to be on top of his game once again with Antetokounmpo’s status unclear. Middleton is averaging 23.7 points and 7.0 assists per game in the series.

For Miami, Jimmy Butler is the team’s leading scorer averaging 19.9 points and 6.0 assists per game, but it has been the play of Bam Adebayo that has really led the Heat to within one game of advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.

Adebayo is averaging 16.6 points and 12.4 rebounds a game in the NBA Playoffs. More importantly, he is an athletic defender who has been the one person who can give Antetokounmpo fits.

Should Antetokounmpo not be 100 percent or re-aggravate the ankle injury in Game 5, it will not bode well for the Bucks. Milwaukee has a tough time beating good teams without its star player.

That said, a look at recent trends can help determine where bettors should lean in this Game 5. Miami is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games. The Heat is also 5-2 ATS in its last seven games against Milwaukee.

The Bucks are 5-3 ATS in their last eight games, but interestingly enough Milwaukee is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games played on a Tuesday.

Milwaukee enters Game 5 as a 3.5-point underdog. The Bucks are only 1-4 ATS when playing as a dog and when playing as at least a 2.5-point underdog they are 0-2 ATS.

Where does that leave us for our free pick? Well, the Total has gone Under in 10 of Milwaukee’s last 15 games against Miami. In 82 Bucks’ games this season, the Over has hit in 39 of them.

The Total has gone Under in six of Miami’s last nine games. Despite the Total being the lowest it has been this series, an unhealthy Giannis and a defensive battle to stave off elimination have us leaning toward the Under.
NBA Free Pick: Heat-Bucks UNDER 216

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