Despite a 2-0 series lead, the Miami Heat are +190 underdogs against the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference semi-final series on Friday. Photo by: @TheHoopCentral (Twitter)
- The Milwaukee Bucks are -230 favorites to defeat the Miami Heat in Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series on Friday
- Miami is 6-0 in the NBA playoffs and up 2-0 in this series
- The Heat are 13-0 in series they’ve led 2-0. The Bucks are 0-14 in series they’ve trailed 2-0; see the full game odds below
The Heat is clearly on the Milwaukee Bucks. In fact, they’ve been all over Milwaukee.
Miami is up 2-0 on the Bucks heading into Game 3 of their best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference semifinal, which is set for Friday (6:30 pm ET).
Nonetheless, the oddsmakers aren’t prepared to stop favoring the Bucks. The top seed in the East, Milwaukee is established as the -230 favorite to capture Game 3 in the Bucks vs Heat odds.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat Game 3 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread||Total at FanDuel|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-230||-5.5 (-110)||U 222.5 (-110)|
|Miami Heat||+190||+5.5 (+110)||O 222.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Sept. 2
The Heat are +190 underdogs, despite being 6-0 in the NBA postseason.
Something Strange Happening Here
Both underdogs are up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. If the Bucks fail to advance, they’d be just the second #1 seed not to reach the ECF since 2013.
The top-seeded team has played in 17 of the last 20 Eastern Conference finals.
If both Milwaukee and #2-seeded Toronto Raptors are eliminated, it would the first time since 1969 that neither a 1 or 2 seed was in the Eastern final.
The fourth-seeded Boston Celtics beat the third-seeded New York Knicks in the 1969 NBA Eastern Conference final.
The Butler Did It
Last season, the Philadelphia 76ers brought in veteran forward Jimmy Butler to try and get them over the hump. The mesh was never a good fit, though.
In Miami, Butler has become the heartbeat of the Heat. He’s their conscience , their soul, their driving force.
Jimmy Butler is the person on every reality show who says “I’m not here to make friends” on the first episode
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) September 1, 2020
In Game 1, he poured in a career-high 40 points for Miami. To close Game 2, he hit a pair of free throws with no time left on the clock to snap a 114-114 tie.
In NBA clutch stats this season, only Joel Embiid (21.2) and James Harden (20.0) got the foul line on average more than 18.1 times per 36 minutes that Butler posted.
Heat Depth Charge
A major difference on the floor is that Miami is getting scoring from almost everyone. Meanwhile, Milwaukee isn’t consistently getting a whole bunch from anyone not named Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In Game 2, seven Heat players hit for double digits, led by 23 points from Goran Dragic. Things were a little more balanced for the Bucks in Game 2.
The biggest take away from this Bucks/Heat game is that the Heat controlled this entire game with Butler only scoring 13 points. Not good for Milwaukee. pic.twitter.com/fAo1HYWyXq
— dailynbapoll (@dailynbapoll4) September 3, 2020
The Greek Freak scored 29 and Khris Middleton netted 23. Eric Bledsoe, who missed Game 1 with a right hamstring strain, returned to score 16 points and show that he can cause matchup problems for Miami via his speed and athleticism.
Milwaukee will need more of that in Game 3. If the Bucks can’t show that there’s others to worry about on the floor beyond Giannis, they don’t figure to go beyond Miami.
2020 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Self-Inflicted Wounds Stopping Bucks
For the second straight game, the Bucks came out flat. Milwaukee played from behind most of the night.
The Bucks battled back from a 13-point deficit. But in crunch time, they committed three straight turnovers and went scoreless for over three minutes.
Milwaukee are struggling to find consistent defensive stops to slow Miami runs. The Heat are finding the path to the hoop frequently open.
Here’s a look at the @MiamiHEAT – Bucks final stats from the BIG Game 2 win!#HEATTwitter #NBA pic.twitter.com/XMQvFd7ZnL
— FOX Sports Sun: HEAT (@FOXSportsHEAT) September 3, 2020
Offensively, Milwaukee’s sloppy ball handling is halting the team from developing any sense of rhythm in attack. There’s a lot to clean up and history is not on the side of the Bucks.
Milwaukee is 0-14 when down 2-0 in a series. Miami is 13-0 when up 2-0 in a series.
Still, this game gives off the feeling of a last stand for the Bucks.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-230).
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.