Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 1 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series at AmericanAirlines Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on TNT.
Anything left in the tank?
Chicago received just a single day off after eliminating the Brooklyn Nets in seven games last Saturday, as it picked up a 99-93 victory as seven-point road underdogs, while going OVER the total for a fourth consecutive contest.
The Bulls are 5-11 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) when coming off an upset win as an underdog, while the UNDER is 9-7 in that situation.
LeBron James improved to 8-0 during a first round playoff series in his career, with the Miami Heat sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, which came to a close with a 88-77 victory as nine-point road favorites April 28.
The Heat are 8-3 SUATS in the second round of the NBA playoffs the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 7-4 in those 11 opportunities.
NBA handicappers will want to keep a close eye on injury updates surrounding the Chicago Bulls roster, as the group has been ravaged by injuries, with Luol Deng (illness) and Kirk Hinrich (calf) listed as questionable to participate in Game 1.
There’s also been plenty of rumors surrounding point guard Derrick Rose (knee), who has missed the entire season, but could return to action and played limited minutes in this series.
Chicago and Miami split four games during the regular season, with the winning team covering the number in each affair, while no edge was found in playing the betting total (2-2 Over/Under).
It’s important to note that the home team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings in this series, but the Heat have compiled a 5-6 ATS mark as home favorites of 9.5 to 12 points since the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NBA picks Monday night, as the OVER is 9-2 in the Heat’s last 11 games as home favorites of 9.5 to 12 points, while the Bulls will lack the necessary energy to keep up on the defensive end due to going the distance against the Nets.
NBA Pick: Over 186 at Bet365