The Milwaukee Bucks needed a few extra days to close out the Orlando Magic after the midweek postponement of two days’ worth of games, but the Bucks have finally won their first round series and will begin the second round tonight against the Miami Heat. Both teams are in solid form, with the Bucks dropping Game 1 to the Magic but then winning four straight, while the Heat won all four of their games against the Indiana Pacers. Below you’ll find betting data, insights, and analysis from DraftKings Sportsbook, with opening tip is set for 6:30 p.m. E.T.
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Series Betting Splits
The Bucks and Heat met three times in the regular season with Heat taking two of those games and perhaps that’s part of the reason why DraftKings Sportsbook bettors are actually more inclined to bet on the Heat than on the Bucks. What’s interesting is that the series line initially opened on Sunday with the Bucks at only -385, so even with 74% of the bets landing on the Heat, the line has moved from -385 to -480 in favor of Milwaukee. The explanation for this is clear, as the handle percentages seen above are drastically different from the bets percentages, with more of the money going toward the Bucks side despite the fact that nearly three-fourths of the bets are on the Heat. The larger bets have a clear Bucks lean and have likely caused the series odds to move as a result.
Game 1 Betting Information
For Monday night’s Game 1, we see somewhat of a similar betting trend as DraftKings Sportsbook bettors continue to show a preference for the Miami Heat side of this series. The handle for Game 1 is more aligned with the Heat as well, which explains why the opening spread of Heat +6 has come down to Heat +5.5. The larger wagers that are present for the full series are not nearly as present for Game 1 specifically, and that could have something to do with the fact that the Bucks needed until Saturday to finish off the Magic, while the Heat have had much more time off to rest and prepare for the current round.
One of the focal points of tonight’s game and for the series as a whole is bound to be the three-point shooting of the Heat, particularly because it’s the area of offense that the Bucks defense is most likely to concede. In the regular season the Heat ranked fifth in the NBA in percentage of points to come from threes and ranked 10th in threes attempted per game, seventh in threes made per game and second in three-point percentage. The Bucks led the league in both opponent three-point attempts and makes per game, so that would seem to be a problem against a team that shoots as well and as often as the Heat. There’s a missing piece here, however, as the Bucks were actually decent at limiting their opponents’ three-point percentage, ranking in the middle of the pack with the 14th-lowest rate. The Bucks have plenty of athletic players on their roster, especially their guards, and this could be one of the reasons that the bettors making larger wagers on the Bucks for the series seem to be less concerned about Miami’s shooting than the general consensus.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.