Bucks to bury Heat in rematch of last year’s first-round playoff upset

  • Milwaukee is a 5-point favorite over Miami as the Eastern Conference’s best rivalry resumes
  • Damian Lillard torched the 76ers for 39 points in his Bucks debut on Friday  
  • Monday night’s game tips off from Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI at 8:00pm ET

Jimmy Butler and the Heat stunned Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first round of last year’s postseason, knocking the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed out of playoffs in just five games. The defeat led to big changes in Milwaukee, who fired head coach Mike Budenholzer and swung a massive deal for Trailblazers legend Damian Lillard.

On Monday, the new-look Bucks will be out for revenge against Miami. Before we look at the latest odds for the game, be sure to check out the 2023-24 NBA MVP Betting Odds and our guide to betting on NBA basketball.

Bucks vs Heat

BetOnline ReviewSpreadMoney LineTotal Points
Miami Heat+5 (-110)Ov 223 (-110)
Milwaukee Bucks-5 (-110)Un 223 (-110)

Lillard starts hot

Milwaukee’s deal for Damian Lillard is already a home run simply for the fact that it led to Giannis Antetokounmpo signing a three-year, $186 million contract extension. However, the 33-year-old guard also wasted no time showing his new team what he could do, scoring 39 points in his debut on Thursday. The Greek Freak added 23 points and 13 rebounds in a 118-117 victory over Joel Embiid and the Sixers.

The Bucks also hosted the Hawks on Sunday night, so they may have tired legs compared to the Heat, who last played on Saturday night. Miami is looking to end a two-game skid following losses to the Celtics and Timberwolves. Jimmy Butler sat out the loss to Minnesota so he should be fresh to face the team he terrorized in last year’s postseason.

Jimmy Buckets

Jimmy Butler averaged 37.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists in a 4-1 series win over Milwaukee in the first round last year. The 34-year-old has had a modest start to the 2023 regular season, registering 19 points and 13 rebounds in a 103-102 win over Detroit and just 14 points in Friday’s loss to Boston.

For most of the offseason, it looked like Lillard would be joining “Playoff Jimmy” in South Beach. But when Pat Riley didn’t have the assets to swing a deal for the seven-time NBA All-Star, Dame joined forces with a two-time NBA MVP in Milwaukee instead.

Miami Heatto cover vs Bucks
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OVER 223Bucks vs Heat
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Milwaukee vs Miami

Milwaukee is 5-point home chalk on Monday with the over/under set at 223 points. The Bucks were 24-18-2 against the spread in Fiserv Forum last season, covering in 57.1% of their games, and were 33-11 straight up. That was the fourth-best home record in the NBA after Denver, Memphis and Golden State.

Miami was 23-30 on the road last year, with a 24-28-1 record against the spread. They’ve also dropped both road games this season, covering in only one of the two. But, this is a franchise that seemingly saves their best for the Bucks. Expect Bam Adebayo to play his usual brand of tough defense on Giannis.

Best Bet

Both teams will be looking to send a message on Monday night. While Erik Spoelstra’s club thrives in the role of the underdog, it’s fair to wonder if they have the talent to match up with Milwaukee following the Lillard acquisition.

Dame scored 14 of his 39 points in the final four minutes of the Bucks’ season-opening win and Giannis was glad to defer to his new teammate with the game on the line. With the two stars showing instant chemistry, we like Milwaukee to cover the 5-point spread and get a measure of revenge on Miami with the OVER 223.

Milwaukee Bucksto cover vs Heat
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Steve Starr

Steve is the quintessential American sports enthusiast. He has mastered the art of Sundays, devoting them to football, and barbecue parties. He proudly wears the hats of a good father, husband and a great dog owner. Aside from his decades of contributing to different top-tier sports publications, Steve has also found his niche on Twitter, where he publishes funny and relatable sports-related insights. When he's not busy tweeting, Steve loves to watch each game unfold live. He possesses an innate talent for finding humor in the sports world, appreciating both the thrilling moments and the comedic mishaps that make each event unique.