NBA Picks: Lock The 'Under' In Slow Tempo Bulls vs. Heat Game

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, April 7, 2016 3:13 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 7, 2016 3:13 PM GMT

The Bulls are entering another must-win game tonight, this time against the Miami Heat. Miami is also really in need of a win tonight. The NBA Odds have the Heat as -5 ½ favorites, with a total of 206.

Must win leads to lower scores
While I don’t have any info to back that claim up, it seems like every time a playoff style game is a must win game is played late in the NBA season, the total falls under. With the Heat coming off a big bounce back win against the Pistons and the Bulls coming in after losing two of their last three games, these two teams would like nothing more than to get a win tonight. The Heat have to play tomorrow night as well in Orlando, so they are going to keep their foot on the gas pedal tonight in order to try and take this Bulls team out early.

The somewhat looking question mark for this game is the status of Hassan Whiteside. He missed practice yesterday, but there has been no word on whether or not he is actually in danger of missing, or if the Heat were just playing it safe. Until I hear otherwise, I’m assuming Miami was just trying to keep their big man fresh.

Whiteside’s status is a determining factor in this one however. He has been stellar defensively this season. He leads the league in blocks, and he is holding players he defends to about 45 percent from the floor. Pau Gasol did have a big game against him last month, but both Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose were out that game, and both look ready to play here tonight.

All this considered, the under looks like it could be a solid play between these two. The Heat play at one of the slowest paces in the league this season, especially at home. The Bulls on the other hand have looked better on defense as of late, but their offense has also struggles. This makes for a nice under recipe tonight.

 

The Sharp Pick
The Bulls are coming into this one on a huge under cashing streak. They have fallen under the number in eight straight games, and in their last ten road games the under is 7-2-1.  Miami on the other hand has cashed the under in five of their last six games, and in three straight home games dating back to the final week of March.

While the over has cashed for these two teams in their last two meetings this season, I think tonight’s game will look more like their first one of the season from Chicago. While that game was in the 80s for both teams, the defenses for this one will be locked in. Chicago has given up only 99.6 points per game in their last six games, while the Heat have allowed 100.5 points per game in their last six overall, and only 95 points per game in their last three home games. The total on the NBA odds boards for this playoff-style game is just a few points too high, and I am adding the under to my NBA picks.

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Free NBA Pick: Under 203.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

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