The Chicago Bulls didn’t beat the NBA odds on Thursday night. Can they get it done Friday when they host the Miami Heat?
Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
Friday, March 12, 2021 – 9:00 PM ET at United Center
I love it when a plan comes together. As we go to press, the Philadelphia 76ers have just defeated the Chicago Bulls 127-105 as 3.5-point road dogs – cashing in yet another of our free NBA picks. As expected, Laurie Markkanen and Otto Porter made their returns for the Bulls, and while Markkanen was excellent in his first game back, Porter struggled. Even better, Patrick Williams remained in the starting lineup for Chicago. Delightful.
Shall we keep plucking that chicken? The Bulls host the Miami Heat on Friday; Miami also played Thursday night, beating the Orlando Magic 111-103 as 9-point home faves – so close. There are few NBA spreads for this game, which isn’t ideal, but we’re going to put out an early recommendation for the Heat. It’s just the right thing to do.
Bam I Am
It’s only going to be for a small wager, though. There isn’t anything in particular that jumps out for either the Bulls (16-18 SU, 20-14 ATS) or the Heat (18-18 SU, 16-19 ATS) in this matchup. Chicago were doing some nice things heading into the All-Star break, but they’ll need some time to re-acquaint themselves with Markkanen (plus-0.3 BPM), and Porter (plus-0.3 BPM) to a lesser degree. The fact that Williams (minus-3.5 BPM) and Coby White (minus-3.3 BPM) are still in the starting five can only help us.
As for Miami, they were on a healthy 7-1 SU and ATS run heading into the break, and they came within an eyelash of covering Thursday against Orlando. That was without the services of Bam Adebayo (plus-4.4 BPM), and we’ve just found out that Adebayo won’t be traveling with the team to Chicago, as he continues to recover from a nagging knee injury. At least we won’t have to worry about him playing at less than 100 percent.
The Kelly Criterion
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to support a team that’s missing one of its best players – or maybe even more than one, as the Sixers showed us on Thursday. Adebayo is second in Miami’s pecking order only to Jimmy Butler (plus-6.8 BPM), but they’ve got a serviceable replacement in Kelly Olynyk (minus-0.6 BPM), one of the more underrated players in the league. Things get a little shakier with sophomore big Chris Silva (minus-2.0 BPM) coming off the bench, mind you.
If the spread for this contest doesn’t come out to your liking, there’s always the total. Except we’re looking at a Chicago team that has the Over at 19-15 this year (including four of their last five), and a Miami team that has the Under at 20-16 (including three of their last four). So let’s stick with our slight lean towards the Heat on the betting sites, and may the sphere be with you.
*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.