Miami is one of two teams that have yet to play a game to start the season and they have themselves a real assignment taking on the defending NBA champions Milwaukee. Will the Heat be up to the task?
Though it was only one game to start the season, the Milwaukee Bucks looked ready to defend their title as they ended up pulling away from Brooklyn to win by 23 as 1.5-point favorites. (Side Note: It sure looked like the Nets could have used a shooting guard against the Bucks. Snarky emoji would fit right here.)
Though Milwaukee swept Miami in the first round of the playoffs last season, the year prior the Heat did the same to the Bucks. Thus, exactly what to expect is up in the air from these combatants. Here however is what to expect from sportsbooks like BookMaker (visit our BookMaker Review), who made Milwaukee a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 223.5.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat
Thursday, October 21, 2021 – 8:10 PM EDT at FTX Arena
Milwaukee Might to Tough Early, But Will Get Everyone’s Best Shot
Milwaukee’s opening salvo for a new season was impressive in baffling Brooklyn. Almost all the important pieces returned except for P.J. Tucker. Bobby Portis did not play in the opener and former Donte DiVincenzo won’t be back until sometime next year. But that’s about it.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo, you know Milwaukee will be a prideful team and have the confidence that comes with winning a title on their side. And as extra motivation, you know somebody told coach Mike Budenholzer that his team was picked third to win another championship, which was passed along to his players.
However, it is one thing to be an up and comer and quite another to hang a banner. That means, especially on the road, every opponent will be geared up to knock off the champs, which will present a different challenge for Milwaukee. The Bucks have the talent to overcome this, but will the grind, like the three-game road trip they are about to embark on, expose them mentally?
Miami Has to Find Out Who They Are
After being dismissed by the Bucks last spring, there was almost a sense of relief around the Miami franchise. The Heat only had 71 days from being eliminated in the NBA Finals to the start of the next season and often played in fog.
With a full off-season to rejuvenate, coach Erik Spoelstra is confident the team that made the finals will be the club that will show up most nights. The core players are Jimmy Butler and Ben Adebayo and while they might not be All-Stars every game, they will supply the effort to give their team a chance to win.
This franchise, lead by Pat Riley, didn’t sit still either, adding players they believe will make them an Eastern Conference contender. With Toronto in decline, Miami snapped up Kyle Lowry, who still has game at point guard at 35. Riley also added toughness, scoring, and rebounding with former Buck P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris. And eventually, Victor Oladipo will be a part of this roster.
Bucks vs. Heat Free Pick Prediction
Though our preference would be to break down this matchup for NBA picks based on just the players, injuries are already a potential factor. Portis did not play for Milwaukee in the opener, as his hamstring remains an issue.
Also, Jrue Holiday hurt his heel in the second half against the Nets and since those types of injury are often nagging or lingering, it makes little sense for Coach Bud to make a situation worse playing him in October. (Update - Holiday listed - Probable - Thursday morning)
This confrontation is personal for Miami after being humbled in the postseason. Expert the Heat to have their A-Game and while the Bucks will put up a fight, Butler and the boys' ball movement and three-point shooting put them over the top.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.