The Bucks host the Heat in a must win Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round. The game is expected to tip-off at 9:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 26th, 2023.
Given the Heats 3-1 series lead, it’s surprising the Bucks are an enormous 11.5 point favorite, with many expecting the Bucks to bounce back after the difficult loss in Game 4.
In Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series, the top-seeded Bucks are determined to avoid elimination as they host the eighth-seeded Heat. The Bucks lost their chance to even the series at two wins apiece in Game 4, squandering a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter and ultimately falling to a 119-114 defeat in Miami.
With the odds stacked against them, as only 13 NBA teams have successfully overcome a 3-1 series deficit, the Bucks face a daunting task. The Denver Nuggets were the last team to achieve such a feat during the 2020 NBA playoffs. However, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer remains determined, stating that the team simply needs to win a game in Milwaukee.
In Game 4, Jimmy Butler was the driving force behind the Heat’s victory, scoring a franchise playoff-best 56 points. Butler’s remarkable performance included a franchise playoff high-tying 22 points in the first quarter and 21 points in the fourth quarter, placing him among the elite in NBA playoff history.
Despite Butler’s heroics, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra remains cautious and acknowledges that there is still work to be done in the series. Spoelstra’s respect for the Bucks, who boasted the NBA’s best regular-season record, is evident, and he is not taking anything for granted.
In the midst of Butler’s standout performance, Bucks’ players Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo also had impressive outings. Lopez recorded 36 points and 11 rebounds, while Antetokounmpo, who returned after a two-game absence due to injury, contributed 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists in a triple-double performance.
As the Bucks face a do-or-die situation in Game 5, Antetokounmpo’s return provides a boost for the team, and his teammates acknowledge his crucial role as the team’s best player. The Bucks will need to regroup and bring their best effort to avoid elimination and keep their playoff hopes alive.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
Despite Milwaukee’s expected strong comeback, an 11-point spread is too large in favor of the Bucks. Antetokounmpo has been struggling since his fall in Game 1, and Butler’s remarkable performance in Game 4 has given the Miami Heat confidence in their ability to win the series as an 8-seed.
Miami’s strong defense, along with the scoring and passing abilities of Butler and Bam Adebayo, supported by a skilled perimeter shooting lineup, make them a formidable opponent. With Miami having won three out of the four games in the series, taking the Heat plus the points in Game 5 is a reasonable bet.
But remember, it’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that Jimmy will be able to execute another recording breaking performance in order to keep this game close. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.
Spread: Bucks -11.5
Moneyline: Bucks -620, Heat +460
Pick: Heat +11.5
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