Bet Bulls to Cover vs. Heat for Your NBA Picks

Darin Zank

Sunday, December 14, 2014 1:32 PM GMT

Chicago is a winner on the road this year, at 10-3 straight up, 7-6 against the spread, while Miami has been lousy at home, going 4-6 SU, just 3-6-1 against the spread. The Bulls and Heat square off at the Triple A Sunday evening.

Bulls-Heat Betting Odds
Most NBA odds opened this game with Chicago favored by 3.5 points, the total posted at 196. Many of those shops then bumped the Bulls to -4 in the early betting action.

Those who believe Miami might win this game outright could get a price of +160 on the moneyline at Pinnacle.

 

Bulls-Heat: The Situation
Chicago went off this season with a wins betting OVER/UNDER of 45. At 14-8 the Bulls are on a pace to win 52 games.

Chicago just went 2-1 on a three-game home-stand, losing the first game 112-102 to a hot Golden State team, then beating Brooklyn 105-80, then Friday night topping Portland 115-106. The Bulls led the Warriors, who own the best record in the league, through three quarters, but scored just 22 points in the fourth quarter to fall. But four nights later Chicago pulled away in the romp over the Nets, allowing just 39 points in the second half. Friday night the Bulls shot 50 percent from the floor, made 22 of 28 free-throws and only turned the ball over eight times in covering the spread as three-point favorites over the Blazers.

Miami went off this season with a wins betting total of 44. But at 11-12 the Heat are only on pace to win 39 games. Yes, it's early, but if the playoffs started today, Chicago would be the four seed in the East, Miami the seven seed. The Heat just completed a 2-3 road trip with a 100-95 victory at Utah Friday night. Miami opened that trip with a 109-85 loss at Milwaukee and a 103-87 defeat at Memphis, won at Phoenix 103-97 but then lost at Denver 102-82. So Miami has been running a bit hot/cold as of late. The Heat shot a hot 63 percent from the field in the first half against the Jazz Friday, building a 15-point lead, went cold in the second half, but hung on for the victory.

 

Bulls-Heat, Statistically Speaking
Chicago ranks 13th in the league in FG shooting at 46 percent, 13th in 3-point shooting at 36 percent and 16th in free-throw shooting at 76 percent. The Bulls also rank sixth in FG defense, holding opponents to 44 percent shooting, ninth in rebounding at +1.9 per game, and own a per-game assist-to-turnover ratio of 23/14.

Miami ranks sixth in the league in FG shooting at 47 percent, ninth in 3-point shooting at 37 percent and 27th in FT shooting at 73 percent. The Heat also rank just 27th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 48 percent from the floor, dead last in rebounding at -5.3 per game and own a 21/13 assist-to-turnover ratio.

 

Bulls-Heat Recent History
This is the first meeting this season between these two teams. Last season these teams split four games, with the home team going 4-0 both SU and ATS. But of course Chicago G Derrick Rose missed three of those games, while LeBron James played in all four for Miami.

 

Bulls-Heat Betting Trends
Chicago is 12-9 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Bulls games have averaged 203 points. In fact, Chicago has hit the 100-point mark in its last eight games.

Miami is 10-13 on the totals, and 1-4 during its last five outings, as Heat games have averaged 194 points.

Chicago is 10-3 SU, 7-6 ATS on the road this season.

Miami is just 4-6 SU, 3-6-1 ATS at home.

 

Injury Update
Chicago F Joakim Noah (nine points, 10 boards per game this season) has missed recent action with a sore ankle, and his status for Sunday's game is uncertain. Bettors might want to wait until closer to tip-off, for some updated information, before betting this game.

 

Bulls-Heat Free Pick
Chicago is simply the better team in this match-up, and should win this game. And it's only favored by a couple of buckets, which is easier to cover than the 7-8-9 points it might be favored by if this game were being played at the United Center. So we like to Bulls in this spot.

Free NBA Pick: Chicago -3.5 at 5Dimes (Consider the recent Line Movement)