Now what for the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in their first-round NBA playoff series with the eighth-seeded Miami Heat?
As we examine Heat vs. Bucks Game 5 predictions, odds, and prop bets, these are the questions we ponder:
Can Milwaukee (a league-best 58-24 in the regular season) make a successful comeback from a 3-1 series deficit that has been accomplished in league history only 13 times in 271 such scenarios? Can the Bucks avoid becoming the fourth No. 1 seed in league annals to fall in the first round to a No. 8 seed?
Plus, can they overcome the memory of squandering a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 4 even though their star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, had a triple-double (26 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds) in his much-ballyhooed return to the lineup after sitting out Games 2 and 3 with a lower back contusion?
We’ll find out a lot more Wednesday night when the teams return to Milwaukee for Game 5 in their best-of-seven.
More Wednesday matchups: Knicks vs. Cavs Game 5 odds, predictions, props | Warriors vs. Kings Game 5 odds, predictions, props | Lakers vs. Grizzlies Game 5 odds, predictions, props
Heat vs. Bucks Game 5 Betting Line
For Game 5, with the Bucks in supreme desperation mode and with “The Greek Freak” (probable) back playing, they are 11.5-point choices (Caesars Sportsbook) to prevail in this win-or-else outing. It’s the biggest spread of the series in which Milwaukee has been a favorite in each game.
Here are point spreads, moneylines, and totals from the best sports betting apps for Heat vs. Bucks Game 5.
NBA · Wed (4/26) @ 9:30pm ET
|MIA Heat||at||MIL Bucks|
|Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
Caesars Sportsbook: Use Code 'TODAYFULL' for $1,250 First Bet + 1000 Tier Credits + 1000 Reward Credits®
Heat vs. Bucks Updated Series Price + Futures Odds
Despite Miami’s 3-1 lead in the series and its remarkable comeback Monday behind Jimmy Butler’s 56 points, the Heat are priced as just a -134 choice to win the series (FanDuel), with the Bucks at +114 to win the next three in a row. By comparison, the fifth-seeded New York Knicks have a 3-1 edge over fourth-seeded Cleveland and are a -520 choice to advance.
Before heading to Miami with the series tied 1-1, the Bucks were -500 choices.
Regarding odds to win the league title, Milwaukee surprisingly has dropped only from the second choice to the third choice at +650 (BetMGM), behind heavy favorite Boston (+240 BetMGM) and Phoenix (+400 FanDuel, BetMGM). The Heat’s odds shortened by half with their Game 4 victory, down to +6500 at FanDuel.
The numbers vary from site to site on many wagering charts, including those at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and PointsBet, so it would be wise for bettors to check out the different offerings in an attempt to secure the best odds.
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Heat vs. Bucks Betting & Injury News
- Star forward Jimmy Butler had a career-high 56 points in Monday’s game, the fourth-highest total for anyone in postseason history. He apparently wasn’t fazed by the bruised glute he suffered in a hard fall in the third quarter of Game 3. His playoff average of 36.5 is second on the postseason scoring chart behind Phoenix’s Devin Booker (37.2).
- More Butler: He is hitting on 52.9 percent of his 3-point shots, up from 35.0 percent in the regular season.
- Miami will continue to complete without a pair of key players who were injured earlier in the series. Veteran backup shooting guard Victor Oladipo went out in Game 3 with a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. Miami already was without starting point guard Tyler Herro, who broke his right hand in Game 1.
- Forward Duncan Robinson continues to hit from deep after seeing more playing time, going from six minutes in Game 1 to 30 in Game 4, tied for second most on the team behind Butler. Robinson has hit 13 of his 17 3-point tries in the series, including a 5-for-6 showing in Game 3.
- Miami averaged a league-low 109.5 points a game this season, but has a league-high norm of 123.0 in the playoffs.
- Center Brook Lopez had a career playoff-high 36 points in Game 4 while going 13-for-23 from the field, tying for the most shots he’s taken in a game this season. The last time Lopez scored this many points in a game was in 2017 while playing for Brooklyn. That performance came in a regular-season loss to Milwaukee.
- An FYI: Antetokounmpo played 38 minutes Monday in his return, six more than his regular-season average, but he was seen on the sideline appearing on occasion uncomfortable while stretching out his back.
- The Bucks are the third No. 1 seed to fall behind 3-1 in a series against a No. 8, following the 2012 Chicago Bulls and 2007 Dallas Mavericks. The Bulls lost to Philadelphia in five games and the Mavs in six against Golden State.
Heat vs. Bucks Game 5 Betting Trends & Notes
- Miami and Milwaukee have teamed to surpass the Over in each of their four meetings this postseason. In all other playoff games, bettors have cashed in on the under in 21 of 36 outings. Game 5’s total stands at 219.5, the second-highest number in the series.
- Miami is 4-0 vs. Milwaukee at home this season, including the regular season, with Antetokounmpo missing three of them. But the Heat did suffer its most lopsided defeat of the season when he played against them in Milwaukee right after the All-Star break, falling 128-99 on the road as a 5.5-point underdog.
- Counting the postseason, Miami is 21-10 against playoff teams at home. They are 11-19 against them on the road.
- Even counting Miami’s 3-1 mark against the spread in this series, it still has the second-worst mark in the league at 34-51-3 (40.0 percent).
- Milwaukee had been 16-0 over the past two-plus years when Antetokounmpo had a triple-double before Monday’s defeat.
- In the regular season, Milwaukee was 47-16 when Antetokounmpo played this season, but is 0-2 in this series, counting Game 1 when he exited after playing only 11 minutes and scoring six points.
- Home double-digit favorites in the 2023 playoffs have gone 5-1 straight up/3-3 against the spread. In Miami’s Game 1 victory, 130-117, the Bucks were 9-point choices. That was the biggest upset of this postseason until Atlanta’s 119-117 win in Boston on Tuesday as a 13.5-point underdog.
- The Bucks are in danger of becoming the fifth team in league history to have the best regular-season record (or tied for it) to be KO’d in the playoffs in their first round. In addition to the 2012 Bulls and 2007 Mavericks, the 1994 Seattle SuperSonics were ousted by Denver 3-2 in a best-of-five, and in 1947 coach Red Auerbach’s Washington Capitals, who were 49-11, were drubbed in their first series (they had a bye in the first round) by the Chicago Stags.
Heat vs. Bucks Player, Series Props
There are multiple ways to get a bet down for Wednesday night’s game. If you have scanned the Heat vs. Bucks odds and are still looking for more action, consider these prop bets.
Antetokounmpo to score more than 29.5 points (-115 FanDuel): With Milwaukee having a distinct height advantage, “The Freak” should have his way inside against a Miami team that did little to stop him and Lopez in their last meeting.
Exact Series Results (FanDuel)
Heat wins 4-1: +450
Heat wins 4-2: +220
Heat wins 4-3: +650
Bucks win 4-3: +100
Heat vs. Bucks Game 5 & Series Predictions
It’s not only the 6-foot-11 Antetokounmpo and 7-foot Lopez who have given Miami’s defense fits, but also 6-foot-7 Khris Middleton, who is scoring at a team-best 21.5-point pace — more than six points better than his season average.
They should be able to maintain their dominance inside.
Plus, how long can Butler keep hitting those 3s at such an amazing clip?
All signs point toward the Bucks getting some big-time revenge in front of the home folks and sending the series back to Miami for Game 6.
As for the Bucks advancing past the Heat, that could well happen but at the current odds it’s not worth the risk plunking down any cash, whether it’s hard-earned or not.
How to Watch
Game Day: Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: Fiserv Forum
Channel: NBA TV