The play-in tournament is behind us and we’re on to the first round. We’ll be doing previews for every series. Here is the Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks betting preview.

Here’s what I’m thinking for the first round of the NBA playoffs. Below this blurb are all the ranks for each team that I will discuss. Use this as a resource. I’ve consolidated offensive and defensive ranks (equation at bottom of table), offensive and defensive preferences, and pace of play. I’ve also tacked on recent performance, key injuries, and betting trends.

The hope is that we find overlap between a team strength and another team weakness, or vice versa. This is nothing more than a guide. I’ll be making a few picks at the end, but I hope more than anything that this helps give you a look into how each team matches up.

These series previews will be all-encompassing. Logically, any advantage that would apply for one team should hold pat for the entire series.

Let’s get to it. Follow me on Twitter, @griffybets, for all things NBA this postseason. Drop me a line with any feedback or ideas for stats you’d like to see included!

Miami HeatMilwaukee Bucks
Offense rank: 19

Threes rank: 16

Pts in paint: 23


Defense rank: 8

Perimeter D: 23

Opp. pts in paint: 1


Pace: 30

Offense rank: 2

Threes rank: 5

Pts in paint: 12


Defense rank: 16

Perimeter D: 30

Opp. pts in paint: 3


Pace: 2

Last 10 GamesLast 10 Games



ATS recordATS record



O/U recordO/U record




Odds to win SeriesOdds to win Series




Regular Season Head-to-Head

Bucks won, 2-1

  • Offensive/Defensive ranks calculated by averaging (points per game, EFG% and efficiency)
  • Pace calculated by averaging (field goals attempted per game and possessions per game)
  • Threes/Perimeter defense calculated by averaging (threes made per game and 3P%)

Shoutout to for the above stats. That site has everything you could ever ask for – this is just a taste of the numbers they consolidate for you. Consider perusing the site to dig into areas of the game you’re curious about.

Series Schedule: Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks

Game 1: Saturday 5/22 at 2 PM EST

Game 2: 5/24

Game 3: 5/27

Game 4: 5/29

Game 5: 6/1

Game 6: 6/3

Game 7: 6/5

Thoughts on the Series: Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks: 5 reasons Giannis Antetokounmpo should re-sign

First thing that sticks out to me is that we can expect plenty of threes in this series. We’ll revisit that note below, but both offenses have a significant advantage from deep. The Bucks have a larger gap between their three-point offense and the Heat’s defense, but I’m very surprised to see that Milwaukee ranks dead-last stopping the perimeter shot.

As for the teams as a whole, they match up pretty evenly in my book. The odds to win the series feels a bit off when looking at the state of both offenses and defenses. The Bucks defense has been slipping as their offense rises, most likely a product of the fast pace they play at.

We’ve got as big of a contrast as we’ll find when it comes to pace, with the Bucks ranked second and the Heat ranked last. Curious to see which play-style will reign supreme in this series.

This should be one of the best series in the first round. Miami has come on strong this past month, playing as well as anyone. Do not discount the run this team went on together in the bubble last season. That experience matters.

Stat Leaders for Each Team

If you want to include some Heat/Bucks in your DFS lineups or prop picks, the below players are where I’d recommend starting.


  • Jimmy Butler: 35.5 PRApg
  • Bam Adebayo: 33.1 PRApg
  • Duncan Robinson: 8.5 3PApg, 40.8% 3P%
  • Kendrick Nunn: 14.6 ppg, 5.7 3PApg, 38.1% 3P%


  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: 45.0 PRApg
  • Khris Middleton: 20.4 ppg, 5.4 3PApg, 41.4% 3P%
  • Jrue Holiday: 17.7 ppg, 39.2% 3P%

Favorite Bets for the Series

Miami Heat: Duncan Robinson has found his groove

As mentioned above, the biggest advantage for both offenses will come from shooting the three. That style suits the complementary players in this series moreso than the big-name stars.

I’ll likely be focused on Middleton, Holiday, Robinson and Nunn for my player props throughout the series.

I also like the value for Miami at +225 to win the series. At the very least, I’ll be betting on them to win over 1.5 games at +105.

The Bucks offense is elite, yet the Heat defense should hold their own. The Miami offense is fine, same as the Bucks. For me, there is a slight edge for the Heat, and I just trust this team more in the postseason. They’ve shown they can do it, and Giannis and Milwaukee continually choke every year.

GriffyBets Nightly Targets: Middleton, Holiday, Robinson and Nunn OVERs

Series winner: Miami Heat

Stay tuned for more NBA betting previews throughout the week. We’ll be breaking down each series here on

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Griffin’s working to find betting value where others may not. With a main focus on the NFL, consider Griffin your go-to resource for matchup breakdowns, including in the trenches and receivers vs. corners. Follow @griffybets on Twitter for more articles and videos. NBA breakdowns will be the primary focus during the NFL offseason.