Dogs Ready to Bite the Books: Heat at Bucks
The NBA betting trends through Sunday’s games paints a positive picture for the home team both straight-up and against the spread. The home team has won 61 percent of the time SU and this winning rate remains a healthy 54.4 percent when you factor in the closing spread. Conversely, road teams have only covered in 46.5 percent of the games where they close as underdogs. Overall, these is roughly a 50/50 split between favorites and underdogs ATS.
Unfortunately the Colts forgot to show up and ruined our chance at last week’s Dogs Ready to Bite the Books.
General NBA betting trends paint a broad stroke, but you still need to dig much deeper into the numbers to find the best value plays in any individual game. Some teams simply matchup up better against others even if they are listed as underdogs. After taking a closer look at Tuesday’s NBA slate, I have found a road underdog that appears to be up to the task of covering the current betting spread against one of the best teams in the league.
Top Underdog Bet- Take Miami against Milwaukee
The Miami Heat are holding down sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings at 21-20 SU after beating Boston and Memphis at home in their last two games. They closed as 2.5-point underdogs in last Thursday’s 115-99 upset against the Celtics before closing as 3.5-point favorites in Saturday’s 112-108 victory against the Grizzlies. This raised the Heat’s overall record ATS to 23-18 with a 14-5 record closing as underdogs. They are 9-13 covering the closing number as favorites.
Miami will be back in action on Tuesday night to kick off a four-game road trip. It is 10-8 SU on the road this season with 12-6 record ATS in those 18 games. The first stop on the trip is Milwaukee to face the high-flying Bucks, who have been a very tough out at home this season at 19-4 SU. Milwaukee is coming off a three-game road trip at 2-1 (SU and ATS) as part of an overall record of 30-12 SU (24-16-2 ATS).
These two teams met on Dec. 22 in the first of a four-game season series with Miami coming away with a 94-87 victory as a two-point home underdog. The Heat jumped out to an early 21-8 lead in the first quarter of that game and held off the Bucks in the fourth quarter to preserve the win. The one notable aspect of that game was Miami’s ability to hold Giannis Antetokounmpo to just nine points in 34 minutes of playing time. He leads the Milwaukee Bucks in scoring this season with 26.7 points per game.
The Heat are not the most exciting team in the NBA when it comes to lighting up the scoreboard with an average of 106.7 PPG that is ranked 25th. However, they know how to put the clamps on other teams with a points-allowed average of 105.6 that is ranked sixth in the league. Miami knows that its only chance to win Tuesday night on the road is by keeping things close. It will not win a shootout against the Bucks as the highest scoring team in the league (117.6 PPG)
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Going back over the last 10 meetings in this series to the 2015/2016 season, Miami has won eight of the 10 games played SU. This run includes a three-game sweep last year. The Heat are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six games against the Bucks with four of the games played in Miami and two in Milwaukee. The total stayed UNDER 215 points in the first meeting this season and it has stayed UNDER in four of the last five meetings as a testament to Miami’s ability to play tight defense in this matchup.
Take the points and take the Heat to cover on Tuesday night.
Article by Dave Schwab
Posted January 14th, 2019
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