Can't Beat the Heat in April
The Miami Heat will get off the team bus at The Bradley Center in Milwaukee with brooms in hand, looking to make it a clean sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks in Game Four of their first-round playoff series Sunday afternoon.
The Heat are listed by Bovada as 9½ point favorites, and based on the way this series has gone so far, I don't see much reason at all why anyone would put their bucks on the Bucks. I certainly won't be one of them.
Heat guard Dwayne Wade is dealing with an aching right knee and may not play today, and perhaps that's keeping the line under double digits. My way of thinking is, it simply won't matter. The Heat have won the first three games of this series by 13, 12, and 23 points.
If you check out the Bovada data tool on our Home page, you will also see the Heat won the final two regular season match-ups against Milwaukee by margins of 11 and 13. And if there is no Wade, the Heat have already proven they can call on their reserves to step up. They continued to play great basketball when coach Eric Spoelstra sat out key players like LeBron James and Wade toward the end of the regular season.
Mike Miller will get the start if Wade is a no-go, and what that means is it won't interfere with Spoelstra's normal bech rotation. And the way Ray Allen and Chris Andersen have played off the bench, why would he want to change that? Allen poured in 23 in Game Three of the series on Thu 25 April, and is averaging 17 in the series. Andersen has played in less than 45 minutes in the series, yet still has dropped 31 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.
So if Wade does play, it's an added bonus, but if he's not on the floor, I still like LeBron, Bosh, and company to polish this thing off. Miami has dropped Game 4's the last two seasons when up 3-0. But these Heat are, shall we say, cooking at a totally different temperature. I'm banking on them to bake the Bucks, and I will make bucks as a result.
My pick: Miami Heat -9.5
Result ... Miami 88 Milwaukee 77 Heat cover