NBA Picks: Bulls vs. Heat Game 5

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 11:40 AM GMT

Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 11:40 AM GMT

The Miami Heat have had great success in close-out games since Chris Bosh and LeBron James arrived in South Beach, as they prepare to face the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 5 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series at AmericanAirlines Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on TNT.

Also check out my NBA Picks: Grizzlies vs. Thunder Game 5

Knocked out 

Chicago will likely get knocked out of the 2013 NBA playoffs Wednesday, as it faces a 3-1 deficit in this best-of-seven series after suffering an 88-65 blowout loss as 7.5-point home underdogs in Game 4, while going UNDER the betting total of 185. 

The Bulls are 7-9 straight up (SU) and 5-11 against the spread (ATS) when revenging a home loss versus an opponent, with the OVER going 9-7 in that situation.

Should we expect a Bulls cover tonight?

Comfortable margin of victory 

Miami has won all seven of its postseason games by a double-digit margin, as its defense is allowing opponents to average just 83.9 points on 40.5 percent shooting from the floor. 

The Heat are 32-1 SU and 15-18 ATS as home favorites of 12.5 or more points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 18-14-1 in those 33 opportunities. 

Game 5 

NBA handicappers will find that the Bulls have tallied a 22-19 all-time record when playing in Game 5 in the postseason, but they’ve dropped 14 of 21 on the road in that situation.

Over the last two-plus seasons, Chicago is 3-5 SU and 4-4 ATS when trailing in a playoff series, with the UNDER cashing in seven of those contests.

Bench scoring 

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are combining to average just 36.4 points per game during the playoffs, as the bench has really stepped up its performance since the regular season ended.

Miami’s reserves have scored 150 points through four games against Chicago, which happens to be the most bench points scored in a playoff series in franchise history. 

There’s a chance that Wade (probable) could sit out this game with a knee injury, but the team won 12 of 14 games without him since the start of the regular season.

[gameodds]5/235976/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NBA picks Wednesday night, as the UNDER is 5-2-1 in the Heat’s eight playoff games to this point, while the Bulls have fallen short of the number in 10 of their last 11 contests following a double-digit loss at home. 

NBA Pick:  Under 182.5

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