- Head to BetOnline or Bovada for the latest odds on the Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat game
- Giannis Antetokounmpo will likely miss Friday’s contest with a wrist injury
- The Eastern Conference battle tips off from Fiserv Forum at 7:30 pm ET on ESPN
Milwaukee received some good news on Monday when further testing revealed that Giannis Antetokounmpo did not suffer serious damage to his right wrist. The Bucks star suffered the injury last Thursday and missed all but 20 seconds of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
Giannis is expected to return to the lineup when swelling subsides, but Mike Budenholzer might want to hold him out against a physical Miami Heat squad on Friday night. Before we break down the matchup, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 NBA Finals and our tips for betting on the NBA.
Bucks vs Heat
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Can Bucks keep pace in the East?
Milwaukee took a 12-game win streak into the All-Star break and sit just a half-game back of Boston in the East with a 41-17 record. While they’d like to keep pace with the Celtics, the club may choose to sit Giannis Antetokounmpo against Miami on Friday.
The Heat are a hard-nosed physical team whom they share a lot of history with. Erik Spoelstra’s squad defeated the Bucks in the 2020 Eastern Conference Semifinals before getting swept the next year in Milwaukee’s run to the NBA Championship.
Winner winner chicken dinner!!! pic.twitter.com/QZi1AP0J6V
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) February 20, 2023
Miami leads season series
Giannis put up 35 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists in a 123-115 victory over the Heat in early February, outdueling guard Jimmy Butler, who had 32 points and eight boards. However, Miami won back-to-back meetings in January when the Bucks were missing both the Greek Freak and forward Khris Middleton.
While Milwaukee hasn’t lost at home since early January, it’s difficult to see them competing without Giannis. The 28-year-old MVP contender is averaging 31.8 points and 12.2 rebounds per game this year.
Milwaukee vs Miami
With the playing status of Giannis still up in the air, bookmakers have not released a line for Friday’s contest yet. However, we can tell you that Milwaukee’s home record (24-5) is the third-best in the NBA while Miami is five games under .500 (12-7) on the road. The Bucks are 18-11 (62.1%) at covering the spread in Fiserv Forum, and the Heat are just 12-16-1 (42.9%) ATS as the visiting team.
Mike Budenholzer’s club hits the OVER in 65.5% of home contests (second-best rate in the league). But, Miami road games have gone UNDER more often than not (55.2%).
Bam giving Kevin Love a warm welcome to Miami 😅 pic.twitter.com/KzZzNNoewX
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 22, 2023
Heat sign Kevin Love
Kevin Love could make Miami debut on Friday night after practicing with his new team for the first time on Thursday. The 15-year NBA veteran was bought out by the Cavaliers before signing with the Heat on waivers. While the 34-year-old ‘s best days are certainly behind him, his outside shooting will help Spoelstra stretch the floor.
Be sure to check the latest lines before placing your bets on this one. Assuming Giannis is not in the lineup on Friday night, we like Miami to win outright.
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