The Heat and Bulls meet up for the second night in three on Monday in South Beach and the NBA odds are favoring the Heat by two possessions. Can we trust Miami to cover again after winning and covering ATS versus Chicago on Saturday? Or will the Bulls grab some much-needed revenge?
Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat
Monday, April 26, 2021 – 08:00 PM EDT at AmericanAirlines Arena
Bulls’ Last Shot
With Zach LaVine still down and the Bulls losing two of their last three, their Eastern Conference playoff chances are slipping away. With the run, the Wizards have been on and the Hornets and Pacers holding strong, the Bulls are two games back of the play-in tournament. If the Bulls lose tonight, there may be no playoffs for Chicago. After getting beat now twice by the Heat this season, they will throw everything they have at Miami tonight in hopes of keeping their playoff hopes alive.
However, the problem for the Bulls is their best shot may not be good enough. Without LaVine, the Bull’s offense has suffered a ton this season. With LaVine off the court, Chicago’s points per 100 possessions drop by more than seven points.
While the acquisition of Nikola Vucevic has helped that some, the big man can’t do it all. Chicago’s outside shooting takes a big dip with LaVine off the court as well and they simply can not recover from that against good defensive teams.
However, it still won’t be easy for Miami. They are still without Victor Oladipo, who was supposed to catapult them back into contention in the East. Along with him missing almost all of his games since joining Miami, Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn are both questionable tonight.
That leaves Miami potentially down two ball handlers, which won’t be good for the offense in this game. However, the full game total is not something I’m going to mess with either way. At 205, and with the injury issues for both teams at the guard position, I’m scared we could see an instance where one or both teams fail to score 100 tonight, or where both teams crank up the pace and it skies over.
The under has almost no room for error in the full game line and it’s why I think the first half has some better value for our NBA picks.
The Sharp Pick
The desperation of the Bulls should lead to their defense being up to the task tonight, especially early in the game. Combined with the potential of the Heat being down both Herro and Nunn, the Miami second unit will suffer if one or both of those guys are out.
Both of these teams have first half defenses that rank in the top half of the league and the Heat are going to do everything they can to force the Bulls into a halfcourt game. If they do that, they are probably confident enough in their defense to stop the LaVine-less Bulls.
Considering that Miami plays at the 28th ranked first half pace in the NBA, I love their chances to keep this first half lower scoring.
Chicago also ranks eighth in first half defense on the road, so I’m hoping that both of these teams fail to score 50 in the first 24 minutes.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.