Daily Sports Betting Preview 12/29/2020: Bucks vs. Heat, Leeds vs. West Brom, Iowa vs. Northwestern

  • The Milwaukee Bucks are favored by 5.5 points over the Miami Heat.
  • West Brom has +280 odds to upset Leeds United on the three way moneyline.
  • Iowa and Northwestern are both excellent against the spread, but who will cover tonight?

LAS VEGAS - Today’s edition of the Daily Sports Betting Preview features three solid wagering opportunities.

First, in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Miami Heat in a rematch of last season’s second round matchup. Then, in the Premier League, West Brom takes on Leeds United.

Finally, in college basketball action, Northwestern is set to face off against Iowa.

Each of these matchups bears serious discussion, so let’s jump right in!

NBA Betting

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat have a history - a history that dates back to the 2019-2020 bubble playoffs.

In the bubble, the Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs in the second round by the Heat. The Heat had a lot of systematic advantages over the Bucks - they could defend Giannis Antetokounmpo well, and shoot enough threes to force the Bucks out of their comfort zone defensively.

These advantages proved to be enough for the fifth seed in the East to take down the first seed.

Now, in 2020-2021, the Bucks are favored again by the sportsbooks - but should they be?

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat

  • Milwaukee Bucks -225
  • Miami Heat +185

Straight up, the Heat have +185 odds to win this matchup, which considering they washed this Bucks team out of the playoffs, might be a solid wager. The Bucks at -225 is a little iffy, given their history against the Heat.

They upgraded by adding Jrue Holiday, and he’ll have to be a difference maker in this matchup. The Bucks took a bad loss to the New York Knicks of all teams, and there is some doubt about their overall quality.

That said, the spread still favors them by a significant amount as well.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat

  • Milwaukee Bucks -5.5 (-110)
  • Miami Heat +5.5 (-110)

The Bucks -5.5 is a tough ask given their current form but also hard to argue against on the part of the oddsmakers.

Miami seems a bit more appealing on the moneyline than on the spread, given how well they were able to perform against this very team only a few months ago. However, the spread might be a solid play as well, for the sake of having a bit of a cushion if the Bucks show up tonight.

Either way, this matchup is certainly interesting - overall talent trends towards the Bucks, but the matchup certainly swings Miami’s way.

NBA bettors will have to figure out which way they want to go with this matchup: the talent or the history.

Premier League Betting

The Premier League brings several matches to the table today, but one of the most interesting pits West Brom against Leeds United.

Why is this matchup so interesting? Well, West Brom are currently set to be relegated, at 19th place in the Premier League. Leeds United, meanwhile, sits at 12th place in the PL.

However, West Brom is coming off of a spectacular showing at Liverpool a few days ago, in which they fought the league leaders to a draw.

West Brom brought in “Big Sam” Allardyce on December 16th, a man known for turning low table clubs into mid table clubs. Since then, it seems Big Sam has started to work his - somehow undeniable at this point - magic.

Allardyce was quite pleased with the result from the matchup, saying: “We weren’t lucky by the way, we were very good.”

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Leeds United has undoubtedly been a better team than West Brom this year, but they certainly don’t have a performance as solid as that one under their belt.

Leeds United vs. West Brom

  • West Brom +280
  • Leeds United -105
  • Draw +235

Leeds United is an odds on favorite in the matchup, even on the three way moneyline.

The spread on the matchup is Leeds -0.5 goals, which also has -105 odds. This makes sense, as it is effectively the same as taking Leeds on the three way moneyline.

Leeds United vs. West Brom - No Draw

  • West Brom +170
  • Leeds United -230

The no draw moneyline sees Leeds as a significantly heavier favorite in the matchup, with -230 odds when a draw is taken out of the equation.

This makes some sense - West Brom’s last five games have resulted in three losses and two draws - they’re not likely to pick up wins.

This matchup should be a compelling one for soccer bettors. A West Brom victory here, combined with their performance against Liverpool, could change perceptions about the team.

This is definitely one to keep an eye on.

College Basketball Betting

Two solid ranked teams are set to face off in college basketball action as Iowa plays host to Northwestern.

Iowa, ranked 11th by the most recent USA Today rankings, has a 7-2 record so far this season. Northwestern, 22nd in the nation according to those same rankings, checks in with a 6-1 record.

The matchup is fairly lopsided in favor of Iowa, according to the online sportsbooks.

Iowa vs. Northwestern

  • Northwestern +450
  • Iowa -700

On the moneyline, Iowa’s odds are fairly prohibitive, but it does make some sense. Not only are they higher ranked and more highly regarded than Northwestern, Iowa is also 7-0 straight up when playing at home this year.

Iowa vs. Northwestern

  • Northwestern +10.5 (-110)
  • Iowa -10.5 (-110)

The spread is quite interesting in this matchup, not least because both teams have performed well with regards to spreads so far this season.

Northwestern has a 5-1 ATS record so far, while Iowa’s ATS record is a respectable 6-3. In addition, Iowa’s winning ways at home continue against the spread, as they have a 6-1 ATS record when playing at home.

In fact, those winning ways extend even to previous seasons - Iowa has a 20-4-2 ATS record in their last 26 home games.

The spread for this matchup opened at Iowa -10.0, and has since moved at most online sportsbooks to Iowa -10.5. That’s not a huge movement, but the addition of a hook is not insignificant either.

This matchup looks like a very interesting one, especially on the spread, where both teams are liable to perform very well.

College basketball bettors should be sure to keep an eye on this matchup.

Happy betting!