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Heat vs Bucks Game 4 Predictions: Miami Take The Surprise Lead

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 24, 2023
11 min read
  • Miami won Game Three 121-99 and leads the series 2-1
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo has not appeared since the first quarter of Game One (injury)
  • The Heat set a franchise playoff record for threes made in a half in Game Three

The eight-seed Miami Heat lead the one-seed Milwaukee Bucks 2-1 and are back in South Beach for Game Four Monday evening.

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Heat vs Bucks Game Four Odds

Odds taken from Caesars Sportsbook.

TeamSpreadMoneylineTotal

Heat

+4 (-110)

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+158

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Over 218 (-110)

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Bucks

-4 (-110)

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-190

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Under 218 (-110)

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Heat vs Bucks Predictions

What Happened in Game Three?

There were widespread concerns that the Heat would not be able to score enough points without their best volume long-range shooter, Tyler Herro, who broke a pair of fingers in Game Two. Rather than be held down by those negative prognostications, the Heat poured in a franchise playoff-record 12 threes in the first half on only 19 attempts and took a 13-point lead into the intermission.

The Bucks offense struggled from the perimeter without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who did not play and is dealing with an injured lower back, attracting attention on the interior. That meant that the Heat had free reign to crowd the three-point line and force the Bucks’ shooters into difficult, contested shots.

The biggest indictment of Milwaukee’s Game Three performance, and also the biggest credit to Miami, is that the latter outscored the former in every quarter. This series is still far from over, especially with Giannis’ return still a possibility, but the Heat have finally elevated their play in a way it seemed as if they were incapable of.

Key Stats from Game Three

Jimmy Butler scored 30 points (12-19 FG, 4-4 3PT) and had five rebounds and four assists in the winning effort. Duncan Robinson, Kyle Lowry, and Caleb Martin combined for 47 points and 15 rebounds off the bench and all had plus/minus box scores of at least +24, led by Martin’s +31.

The Heat’s shooting splits—53.6% from the field, 48.5% from three, 88.2% from the charity stripe—were off the charts. But no matter how impressive the numbers, they were dealt a significant loss with a late-game injury to Victor Oladipo. No official diagnosis has been provided, but it appeared very serious and he was carried off the court by his coaching staff.

Khris Middleton had another solid outing for the Bucks with 23 points (8-14 FG, 3-5 3PT), six assists, and five rebounds. He was the only player to score at least 20 points. Every player that saw more than four minutes of action also had a negative plus/minus, which is reflective of the Heat’s overall dominance on the day. 

Game Four Preview

The Heat’s two wins in the series have been impressive, but both have been aberrations in their own right. The Game One win saw Giannis leave before the first quarter ended, and the Game Three win was headlined by arguably the greatest long-range shooting in performance in the storied franchise’s postseason history. 

Milwaukee also has the ability to run red-hot even without Giannis in the lineup (see: Game Two). There is also potential for him to be back for the next game since he has been questionable for each of the last two and coach Mike Budenholzer remains optimistic about his return to the court. 

Clearly, the Bucks have to do a better job on defense. In a weird way, having their hand forced into playing Robinson and, now that Oladipo is out, other bench players has forced them to take more three-pointers and actually improved their offensive efficiency. Lest the basketball world forget the Heat were the one-seed in the last playoffs and one Jimmy Butler three-pointer away from reaching the NBA Finals for the second time in three years. 

How Do the Heat Win?

The Heat will win Game Four if they can keep their offensive rhythm going and utilize the increased space provided by Robinson, Max Strus, Kevin Love, and the other shooters that have come to life in the series. It now appears that playoff Jimmy Butler is here to stay, which also gives them the ever-present threat and leader they were missing during the play-in games.

Miami could use more production from Bam Adebayo, whose points, rebounds, and blocks averages are down compared to the regular season, but they are holding up just fine.

How Do the Bucks Win? 

The Bucks will have a much better chance to win Game Four if Giannis returns to the lineup. If he can’t they will need Middleton to continue to get back to his All-Star form and also need Jrue Holiday to be more of an offensive threat.

Milwaukee also needs to lock in on defense like it is more than capable of and force the Heat’s new-found ball movement to stall out.  

Heat vs Bucks Game Four Pick

The Heat have been playing well above any level they showed in the regular season. Their disappointing play-in performances made it seem as if they couldn’t flick the playoff switch like they had in years past, but that has been proven untrue.

With all of that being said, the Heat have needed historic nights to win these games and were even uncharacteristically spectacular in the Game Two loss. It’s time for them to come back to Earth and for the Bucks to pick up a win by covering the spread.

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How to Watch Heat vs Bucks Game Four

  • Where: Kaseya Center, Miami FL
  • When: 7:30 p.m. ET, Monday, April 25
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling, etc.
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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

548 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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