Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
Swinging Johnson - NBA Record (12-15, -14.9 units)
*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.
I have been sulking since my Thursday night disaster when I picked the Bulls, at home no less, to cover the five point impost over the visiting Portland Trailblazers for 3 units. When the number climbed to six at game time, I felt like I was the steam. Well, by the end of the game I felt like I'd been steamrolled when the Bulls not only failed to cover but lost the game outright by ten.
If that wasn't bad enough, I followed that little number up with the Sacramento Kings -6 for two units over the visiting T'Wolves. Ball Sac won by three and I got another kick in the nuts. Now we're down almost 15 units and I'm flailing, failing and spiraling. Don't fade me bro!
Miami Heat (56-14 SU, 37-33 ATS)
Oh, is it my turn to lavish even more praise upon the Greatest Team Ever? Twenty-seven games and counting until they break the record for longest win streak in the history of the NBA. They may indeed, ultimately get number 34 but they won't beat Michael Jordan's 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls team for most regular season wins (72). Look, I've got to find something negative to say about this team. They put together a Dream Team and the dream is most definitely taking shape after one NBA championship and an even more dominating regular season run this year.
The Heat don't like to make it easy on themselves. They play a cat and mouse game until the 4th quarter when they decide to end the suspense and put the game away. Miami is 16-11 ATS during this run and if they got their head in the game early enough they wouldn't have climb out of holes against lousy teams like Cleveland, Detroit, Charlotte and Monday night against the Magic when they were knotted in the 3rd quarter before Miami put their foot on the gas.
Chicago Bulls (38-31 SU, 31-37-1 ATS)
The Bulls played back-to-back games against Indiana and Minnesota, winning both and covering for their backers against the NBA betting odds. But the big factor will be the status of Joakim Noah who has missed the last two games with a foot injury. He is day-to-day but if he cannot go, then backup center Nazr Mohammed will get his third consecutive start.
Perhaps no team has played the Heat as tough as the Bulls since the marriage of LeBron, Bosh and Wade. Since the Dream Team was formed, Chicago has won half of the 14 games played between the two teams. The Bulls are 5-3 straight up and 4-3-1 against the number when they play Miami at the United Center. But the last time they tipped off against LeBron and company, they dropped an 86-67 decision on their home court. But in their typical tit-for-tat fashion, they won their only contest in Miami this season back on January 4th, 96-89.
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It's unclear whether or not Joakim Noah will suit up tonight but if he does, he will certainly provide the Bulls with more offensive pizzazz than Nazr Mohammed, who can clean the glass but does little else. Factor in the balky knee of Dwyane Wade, who has been shelved for the last two games, and you have the capacity for a low scoring game.
The last four games played between Miami and Chicago have gone under the posted total. The Heat get chilly offensively when they play the Bulls. The Dream Team has historically averaged 90.1 PPG against Chicago, 11 points less than what they average against the rest of the NBA.
I'm not going to buck a trend. I will stay the course and try to get us out of this malodorous malaise. Play Under in the Heat/Bulls for 3 units for your NBA picks here.