The Milwaukee Bucks will be looking for their 13th consecutive win in the NBA when they host the Miami Heat at the Fiserv Forum on Friday night. The Bucks are the most in-form team in the NBA at the moment, and with a strong home record this season, the Heat are really going to be up against it. Can the Heat claim the win and stop the Bucks? Let’s take a look with our latest NBA betting picks.
The form of the Bucks of late sees them sit third in the betting to win the 2023 NBA Championship. The best basketball betting sites have priced the Bucks up at +550, which puts them just behind the Phoenix Suns at +450, and the favorites, the Boston Celtics at +300.
The Celtics have been leading the betting to win the championship all season. They took over the favorites tag early in the campaign and have remained in that position since. Behind the Celtics, there have been numerous sides jostling for positions. And after a decent run of form lately, the Phoenix Suns are the team to have emerged as the Celtics’ main betting rival.
But Mike Budenholzer’s Bucks have always been there or thereabouts in the betting to win the 2023 National Championship. And in recent weeks their form has seen them move clear of the likes of the Golden State Warriors, the Brooklyn Nets, and the LA Clippers in the betting. All sides that had previously been jostling with the Bucks for superiority behind the Celtics.
More NBA Championship winner odds from the best NBA betting sites can be found below in our odds table below.
|Betting to Win 2023 NBA Championship|
|Golden State Warriors||+1200||+1200||+1200|
The last time the Bucks tasted defeat was in Cleveland against the Cavaliers back on January 21st. Since that 12 points loss, the Bucks have won 12 on the bounce.
The highlight of that winning streak was the 131-125 win over the Celtics just over a week ago. That night the scores were 116-116 at the end of the 4th Period. But the Bucks came out on top in the end, outscoring the Celtics by 16 points to nine in overtime.
To date this season the Bucks are 24-5 at home. Their overall record reads 41-17. They are now right on the coattails of the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. In the betting to win the conference, the Celtics (+115) are still ahead of the Bucks (+225), in what now looks like a two-horse betting race. These odds are from BetUS, you can read more about them in our BetUS sportbook review.
In their most recent outing, the Bucks won away at the Chicago Bulls. The Bucks defeated Chicago 112-100, in what was their final game ahead of the NBA All-Stars weekend. That win came in the match after the victory over the Celtics.
The Heat are 5-5 in their last ten matches. Away from home, their record reads 13-17. But more recently they are on a losing streak of two. The two defeats have come at the hands of the Nets and the Nuggets, who are two in-form teams in the NBA.
Last Wednesday the Heat had a four point lead over the Nets at the halfway stage. But Erik Spoelstra’s side faded badly in the 3rd and 4th Periods, eventually losing by nine points (116-105).
Their defeat at the hands of the Nuggets followed a completely different pattern. The Heat raced into a nine point lead (36-27) at the end of the 1st Period. But the Nuggets immediately bounced back, outscoring Miami by 38 points to 26 in the 2nd Period. After a couple of more evenly contested quarters, the Nuggets eventually came out on top, 112-108, consolidating their position at the top of the Western Conference.
Although it might seem harsh judging the Heat against the likes of the Nets and the Nuggets, it makes sense from a betting perspective. Their match against the Bucks is against a team on a similar level, so the Brooklyn and Denver fixtures are good yardsticks to judge them by.
Despite the Heat struggling to beat the top teams, there’s not much to separate these two in the latest NBA betting odds. On the moneyline, Milwaukee is -120, and the Heat is +100.
On the handicap spread, it’s much the same story. The Heat are only receiving a start of 1.5 points. With the start, the Heat (+1.5) is -105, while the Bucks (-1.5) are -115.
With those odds it’s a case of which do you prefer? There’s little difference if you think the Bucks will win. It’s just a case of a point or two, with slightly better odds on the handicap spread.
The fact the sportsbooks have it so close suggests they think that the Bucks run is looking like it could be coming to an end. They might have a point, afterall the Heat weren’t totally outclassed by the Nets and the Nuggets. So with the match looking a close call, we’re going to go for over 220.5 total points as our betting pick for the match.
Force us to make a call on the winner, and we would take the Bucks based on the recent form of the two sides.