NBA Picks: Heat vs. Bulls Game 4

Jeff Grant

Monday, May 13, 2013 11:56 AM GMT

All six of the Miami Heat’s playoff victories have come by double digits, but they’ll have a hard time accomplishing that feat against the Chicago Bulls tonight. Where should NBA bettors look for value in this matchup?


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 4 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series at the United Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET. 

Also check out my NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Grizzlies Game 4

In control 

Miami has won back-to-back games to take a 2-1 series lead over Chicago, including a 104-94 victory as 8.5-point road favorites in Game 3 last Friday night, while going OVER the total for a second consecutive contest. 

The Heat are 18-8 straight up (SU) and 14-11-1 against the spread (ATS) when leading in a playoff series the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 14-11-1 in that situation. 

Need to control the boards

The winning team has out-rebounded the opposition in the first three games of this best-of-seven series, which is why forward Carlos Boozer and center Joakim Noah must pound the glass for Chicago. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Bulls are 30-22 SU and 21-31 ATS when playing with two days rest, while the OVER is 30-22 in those 52 opportunities. 

MVP 

LeBron James hasn’t played like a four-time NBA MVP on the offensive end in this series, as he’s shooting just 45.7 percent from the field, which would be his lowest mark in the postseason over the last two seasons. 

James is certainly in the right place to turn things around, considering he’s averaged 31.1 points per game during the regular season at this venue—the highest mark of any player in history. 

Bouncing back 

NBA handicappers may elect to lay the number again when making their playoff predictions, with all six of the Heat’s playoff victories coming by 10 or more points, but the Bulls land in a solid situational spot.

Chicago is 4-0 ATS following a double-digit loss at home, with the UNDER cashing in each of those contests.

[gameodds]5/228742/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Bulls as one of their NBA picks, as the Heat are 16-16-1 ATS when playing on the road with a total between 185 and 189.5 since Chris Bosh and James joined Dwyane Wade in South Beach. 

NBA Pick:  Chicago Bulls +8