Where Heat’s First-Round Upset Over Bucks Ranks In NBA History

Those who bet on Miami walked away with a nice profit


Apr 27, 2023

The Heat had a bumpy road to the first round of the NBA playoffs, but they are now through to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Miami lost its first play-in tournament game against the Atlanta Hawks and needed to beat the Chicago Bulls to earn the eighth seed. The Milwaukee Bucks were among the favorites to win the NBA title, but they gave the Boston Celtics a break by getting bounced in the first round.

The Heat completed their upset of the Bucks on Wednesday when they won the best-of-seven series, 4-1. Jimmy Butler lead Miami throughout the series, and he capped it off with a 16-point fourth-quarter comeback in Game 5, which was the largest comeback entering the fourth quarter in a series-clinching win in NBA history, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Miami entered the series as a consensus +850 underdog across major sportsbooks. That makes it the fifth-largest upset in NBA history. Those who bet $100 on the Heat walked away a with $950 payout.

The most recent comeback of that magnitude was the third-seeded Denver Nuggets beating the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the 2020 Western Conference semifinals as +850 underdogs. The largest betting postseason upset in NBA history was the eighth-seeded Nuggets beating the top-seeded Seattle Supersonics in the first round of the 1994 NBA playoffs as 14-1 underdogs.

ESPN’s Kevin Pelton noted Thursday the Heat’s upset of the Bucks only ranked as the 12th-largest when looking at team records, but it still was a disappointing exit for Giannis Antetokounmpo and company.

The Heat move on to play the New York Knicks and hope to continue their surprising run in the playoffs.

Thumbnail photo via Michael McLoone/USA TODAY Sports Images

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