Bucks vs Heat NBA Odds, Picks and Predictions May 27

Updated: May 26, 2021

The Eastern Conference quarterfinals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat swing to South Beach for Game 3 Thursday, with the host team down 0-2 and getting the points on their home court.

Milwaukee edged Miami in the overtime thriller in the series opener and then blasted the Heat by 34 points in the second game Monday. Oddsmakers aren’t overreacting to that blowout result and treading lightly with a Bucks team that shows a significant NBA betting split when hitting the road, going just 14-22 ATS as a visitor.

Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Bucks vs. Heat on May 27.

Bucks vs Heat game info

Location: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Date: Thursday, May 27, 2021
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Bucks vs Heat odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Milwaukee opened as a 1-point road favorite and that bumped up to -1.5 with early play on the favorite. The total hit the board at 227.5 and slimmed ever-so-slightly to 227 with action on the Under. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Bucks vs Heat series odds

Bucks: -1,200
Heat: +680

Bucks vs Heat betting preview


Bucks: Thanasis Antetokounmpo F (Out).
Heat: Victor Oladipo G (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

NBA playoff teams down 0-2 in a series and coming back home for Game 3 are 72-40-8 versus the first-half spread since 2007 (excluding neutral-site 2020 NBA postseason bubble games). Find more NBA betting trends for Bucks vs. Heat.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Milwaukee landed early KO punches on Miami in Game 2 and kept kicking the Heat when they were down, with a barrage of 3-pointers serving as a steel-toed work boot. The Bucks, who shot just 5 for 31 from distance in Game 1, were 22 for 53 from beyond the arc Monday – a record-setting mark Milwaukee won’t replicate in Game 3.

While getting buried under 3-pointers is a concern for the Heat’s defense, the offense has to be worried about the play of star Jimmy Butler, who is a dismal 8 for 32 through the first two games, including 2 for 9 from deep. Butler did a good job offsetting those shooting woes by getting to the foul line in Game 1, but it’s apparent he’s running on empty.

Not only is Butler the go-to guy on offense but he’s sharing shutdown defensive duties on Giannis Antetokounmpo, a grinding task in itself. Milwaukee wants to push a faster pace than Miami cares to play and Butler (who still played 32 minutes in the Game 2 rout) and the Heat could be starting to crack, especially after a long postseason run in the bubble last summer and the quick turnaround into a condensed 2020-21 slate. 

The Heat have managed scores of 99 and 98 points in regulation in the opening two games of the series, posting an advanced offensive rating of 98.6 which would have ranked well below the league-low 102.8 Oklahoma City put up in the regular season. 

That’s not going to cut it against the top offense in the league, with the Bucks going a non-surprising 15-0 SU and 13-2 ATS when foes score 100 points or less in 48 minutes. Miami will expend what little energy it has left on defense, leaving the legs heavy and shots short in Game 3.

PREDICTION: Milwaukee -1 (-110)

Covers NBA betting analysis

Over/Under pick

Bookies and bettors have been hot and cold on the totals for this series, closing the Game 1 number at 227 and the Game 2 total at 223. The Over/Under for Game 3 is sitting around 226.5. 

As fantastic as the Bucks offense is, they’ve flexed their defensive muscle in this revenge spot versus Miami and that ability to stop the Heat has been a rare consistent factor in the opening pair of games.

They’ve checked the Heat to just 38 percent shooting overall, including a mere 51 percent within eight feet of the bucket for a total of just 68 points in the paint through two games. That’s forced Miami to the outside, where everyone but Duncan Robinson has sucked.

The Bucks are also beating up the Heat on the boards, outrebounding their opponents by a grand total of 125-87, while forcing a collective 34 turnovers in the series. Milwaukee boasts a defensive rating of 98.6 in the postseason so far – a sharp difference from its season rating of 110.7. 

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is thinking about a starting lineup featuring both Bam Adebayo and 7-footer Dewayne Dedmon in order to combat the Bucks’ physicality, which would drag an already-plodding Miami offensive pace into quicksand. 

The Game 3 shooting won’t be as good as Game 2 or as bad as Game 1, but this series is starting to swing into slog territory. Expect a low-scoring bruising battle in South Beach Thursday.

PREDICTION: Under 226.5 (-110)

First half prop pick

The Heat being down 0-2 and heading home brings back one of my favorite NBA Playoff betting trends – perhaps the greatest betting trend in the history of gambling… or at least it used to be.

The play: bet on the 0-2 team against the first-half spread back home in Game 3. 

It’s a situation that’s produced a 72-40-8 record (64%) since 2007 – excluding the 2020 NBA postseason, which was played on neutral courts in the COVID-19 bubble. Bookies have gotten wise to this strategy and manipulated the first-half spreads so much that the trend went just 8-8-1 1H ATS between 2018 and 2019. 

I’m not a big believer in blindly following trends, but this one has teeth and a narrative that makes sense: a desperate team trying to avoid an 0-3 hole in front of their home crowd will give everything it’s got in the opening 24 minutes.

Enter the Heat, who are anywhere from +0.5 (-140) to -1 (+105) on the first-half spread and as big as -130 with the 1H moneyline. By the looks of things, bookies haven’t forgotten about the famed 0-2 trend. 

PREDICTION: Miami 1H -1 (+105)

Bucks vs Heat betting card

  • Milwaukee -1 (-110)
  • Under 226.5 (-110)
  • Miami 1H -1 (+105)

Picks made on 5/26/2021 at 12:05 p.m. ET

NBA parlays

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