The Miami Heat (49-28) visit United Center Saturday to take on the Chicago Bulls (45-32). Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Heat vs. Bulls odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
The Heat come into this game sitting atop the Eastern Conference. They lead the Milwaukee Bucks by 1 game and the Boston Celtics by 1.5 games. This will be a huge game for the standings against the fifth-place Chicago Bulls.
Miami is coming off a 106-98 road win over the Celtics Wednesday, covering as a 5-point underdog. The Heat have covered two straight games but are just 2-7 against the spread (ATS) over their last nine outings.
Chicago, who has had notable struggles against top-tier teams in both conferences, is coming in following a 135-130 home overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday.
The Bulls have covered three of their last four games yet are 4-12 ATS over their last 16. Chicago is led by G DeMar DeRozan, who is averaging 28.0 points per game this season.
Heat at Bulls odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11:37 a.m. ET.
Money line: Heat -140 (bet $140 to win $100) | Bulls +115 (bet $100 to win $115)
Against the spread (ATS): Heat -2.5 (-108) | Bulls +2.5 (-112)
Over/Under (O/U): 216.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
Heat at Bulls key injuries
G Caleb Martin (calf) questionable
F Max Strus (Right SC) questionable
G Lonzo Ball (knee) out
G Zach LaVine (knee) probable
Heat at Bulls odds, lines, picks and predictions
Heat 114, Bulls 109
LEAN to HEAT (-140).
I would rather play the Heat on the money line and pay the extra price here.
Chicago is 27-10 at home, so it’s a difficult side to beat at United Center. However, the Bulls are 0-16 against the top three teams from each conference.
The Heat are also finally at full strength and coming off a huge win in Boston. Miami is 13-8 as an away favorite and has a gritty defense that should be able to tame DeRozan and LaVine.
The Bulls are 11th in offensive rating, with the Heat at 12th. The real difference for these teams comes defensively, where the Heat are fourth compared to the Bulls’ 20th.
I’ll take the stronger defense that has been solid as road favorites, but considering the price on the money line, it’s just a LEAN to the HEAT (-140).
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Against the spread
I’ll take the more expensive spread as Chicago may not be good at winning hard-fought games, but it should be able to keep things interesting. The Bulls have had four one-possession losses this season.
BET the OVER 217.5 (-110).
The Bulls rank No. 1 in terms of points per possession in isolation. With gifted scorers like LaVine and DeRozan, it’s not easy to slow them down. They also have the second-highest free throw frequency in isolation and rank No. 1 in score frequency.
Chicago and Miami are 2-1 O/U across their three meetings. The Heat are 45-32 O/U this season as their strong defense typically gives low projected totals. Miami is 5-2 O/U over its last 7.
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