Turning Up the Heat: Whiteside's Likely Return to Stifle Bulls

bulls heat

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, March 29, 2018 2:16 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 29, 2018 2:16 PM UTC

Miami might be getting back one of its best players tonight, which would help its defense and potentially kill Chicago's offense. That means fewer points and a likely "under."

Thursday NBA: Bulls vs. HeatFree NBA Pick: Under 210Best Line Offered: Bovada

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After sitting out the last nine games with a hip issue, Hassan Whiteside looks like he has a chance to return to the Heat’s lineup tonight. With teammate Bam Adebayo doubtful, Whiteside’s return would really help Miami's rim protection:

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Now enter the Bulls, who are trying to lose games and are facing a team desperate to maintain its playoff spot. That should lead to an old-fashioned beat-down tonight by the Heat.

However, Miami is about as reliable as a 20-year-old car you just bought from Jim Bob at the used-car lot. It might run like a champ, or it could break down 6 miles down the road.

It is for that reason that the total on the NBA odds board looks like a better play than the point spread. In their last game against one another, the Heat lost to the Bulls on the road 119-111, but before that these two got into some low-scoring games earlier this season.

Even though the Bulls have been giving up close to 120 points per game over their last five, they also have failed to score 100 or more points in three of those five games. If the Miami defense comes to play, the Bulls should fall below 100 again.

The two games Chicago exceeded 100 points in were at home against sub-par defensive teams. The Heat have not been bad on defense and if Whiteside plays, that should help even more.

It is for that reason that I see a lower-scoring game. With Whiteside back, the Heat will play through the halfcourt more, and they should wear down what will be a very soft Bulls defense. If they do it without much fast-breaking, and while using plenty of shot clock, I see the "under" as a nice wager with your NBA picks.

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