Bucks vs. Heat Game 4 Preview and Picks – April 24, 2023
BUCKS VS. HEAT GAME 4 PREVIEW AND PICKS — APRIL 24, 2023 — Happy Monday, basketball fans. Welcome back to our NBA playoff coverage here at Godzilla Wins. Our marquee matchup for today is the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks taking on the No. 8-seeded Miami Heat. Let’s look at this matchup to see what has transpired through the first three games and which team has the edge going into Game 4.
(44-38 SU, 30-49-3 ATS)
When: Monday, April 24, 2023 at 7:30 PM ET
Where: FTX Arena, Miami FL
Public Bets: Bucks, 75%
Public Money: Bucks, 94%
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 20th, 2023
How We Got Here: Injuries plaguing both teams
This series has been of the back-and-forth variety through the first three games. The two teams split the first two games in Milwaukee, setting up a pivotal Game 3 in Miami. The Bucks were hoping to string together consecutive wins without Giannis Antetokounmpo – who has been out with a lower back injury, but things did not go according to plan.
In Game 3, Miami jumped to an early lead and took a 66-53 into the break. But without their star in the lineup, the Bucks trailed by as many as 29 points and committed 18 turnovers. The result was a 121-99 victory for the home team, giving Miami a 2-1 lead in the series.
Although Miami’s win was an impressive one, it came with a cost. Jimmy Butler – who finished with a stat line of 30 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals — sustained a bruised glute and his status is questionable for Game 4. Even worse than that is Victor Oladipo tore his left patellar tendon and will miss the remainder of the postseason.
It was a great win, but when you see a player go down like that and particularly a player like Vic, who has gone through so much in the last three years — I don’t know what it is right now, so I don’t want to jump the gun on anything,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Game 3, via ESPN. “But that’s definitely not a good feeling to see.”
Let’s also remember that Tyler Herro sustained a broken hand in the series opener and is expected to be sidelined until the NBA Finals, should Miami make it that far. Injuries have played both a significant and unfortunate role in this first-round matchup.
Here are my picks for Game 4.
The O/U total opened at 217 points. That line has moved to 219, with the over attracting 49% of the cash and 71% of the tickets.
Ironically, the two teams have exceeded this threshold in all three games. Here are a few other trends that support taking the OVER in this contest.
The Over has hit in each of the Bucks’ last five games when facing an opponent that scored 100 or more points in their previous outing. The Bucks gave up 121 points in their Game 3 loss to Miami.
The Over boasts a 10-1 record for Milwaukee in its last 11 games when playing on one day of rest and 4-1 in Milwaukee’s last five games that were played on a Monday.
The Over total has hit in each of Miami’s last eight home games, and four of the previous five games that were played on a Monday.
The Over is a perfect 5-0 for Miami following a win of more than 10 points. The Heat beat the Bucks by a 22-point margin in Game 3.
In the last 26 games, the Over holds a 19-7 record for Miami after scoring more than 100 points in their previous outing. The Heat produced 121 points in Game 3.
Prediction: Over 219 total points
Despite Antetokounmpo’s status being questionable for Game 4, the Bucks opened as a consensus 3.5-point favorites. That line has moved to (-5.5).
Miami holds a perfect 4-0 mark against the spread in the four instances in which they played on one day of rest.
Miami has covered the spread in each of its last four games against opponents that have a road winning percentage greater than .600. The Bucks were 26-15 during the regular season, which equates to a .634 winning percentage.
In head-to-head matchups between these two squads, the Heat boats a 5-0 record ATS in the last five games that were played in Miami, which is the venue for Game 4.
Prediction: Miami (+7)
Player Prop Bet
My player to watch in this contest is Jimmy Butler. He currently has -115 odds of scoring more than 28.5 points and -115 odds of scoring less than 28.5 points.
Butler has faced the Bucks 50 times during his playing career, including the playoffs. In those contests, he is averaging a pedestrian 18.5 points, which is more than four points lower than his season average of 22.9 points per outing.
In this series, however, Butler has been playing like a man on a mission. Through the first three games against the Bucks, he is averaging 30 points per contest and has eclipsed the 28.5-point threshold in two of the three games. If he can play, I expect that trend to continue in Game 4.
Prediction: Jimmy Butler OVER 28.5 points
|James’s Picks||Heat +7
Jimmy Butler Over 28.5 Points