Windy City Clash: Bet Bulls -7 & 'Under' Against Struggling Heat

Kevin Stott

Monday, January 25, 2016 3:39 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 25, 2016 3:39 PM UTC

Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat head to Chicago and the United Center on Monday night to face Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls, who will be our NBA pick here?

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Predicted Final Score: Bulls 95  Heat 84
NBA Picks: Bulls -7 & Under 190½ 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls (25-18 SU, 16-8 Home) welcome the Miami Heat (23-21 SU, 8-12 Away) to the United Center in Chicago on Monday night for this first of four meetings between these two Eastern Conference teams this NBA Regular Season. NBA Odds makers here in Las Vegas have opened the Bulls up as solid 7½-point favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)) this morning with the game’s Total set at 190½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). The Money Line (Winner) odds here sees Chicago priced as large -325 Home favorites with the Heat lined at +285 on the takeback (at Pinnacle). The Chicago Bulls Team Points Total has been set at 99 (BetVictor) while the Miami Heat Team Points Total has been set at 91½ (BetVictor). The 1st Half line has been set at -4 (Totesport) while the 1st Half Total Points has been set at 96½ (-111, BetVictor).


Miami Heat
The Miami Heat (20-23-0 ATS, 9-11 ATS Road) and Head Coach Erik Spoelstra are in a funk, having L4 straight and 7 of their L8 games heading into this affair in Dwyane Wade’s hometown of Chicago and the Heat F is listed as Probable for this game with a bad Shoulder and Miami C Hassan, Whiteside (Oblique) is listed as Doubtful while SG Goran Dragic (Calf) and former Bulls player and SF Luol Deng (Eye) are out while F Chris Andersen (Knee) is Out Indefinitely. So it couldn’t get worse, right? It certainly could, Bubba. The Heat also have SF Gerald Green (Knee), PG Beno Udrih (Neck) and PF Josh McRoberts (Knee) listed as Questionable so perhaps the Heat will just decide to forfeit? What this means is that most of the guys listed as Questionable will have to play with Whiteside doubtful, Deng and Dragic definitely not playing and with team leader Wade (18.2 ppg, 4.5 apg) gimpy and probably in a foul mood because his team is losing every night and very injured, he will more than likely start and do what he can with that Shoulder injury but in no way will he be close to 100% if he plays. So Chris Bosh (19.1 ppg) will be expected to carry a big load, as he did in Miami’s 101-81 loss in their last outing at Toronto, scoring 26 points and grabbing 7 boards. But this team is down right now and picking on a team that’s not winning and not covering (3-7 ATS L10) is what sports betting is about sometimes. This seems like a bad spot for Miami (45/1 to win NBA Championship, bet365), travel included.


Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls (17-26-0 ATS, 9-15 ATS Home) and 1st-year Head Coach Fred Hoiberg haven’t fared much better in their L10 (4-6 SU) than Miami and Chicago is just as bad ATS (3-7 ATS L10) as the Heat recently, but this game is at Home and the Bulls are much healthier than the visitors from the Sunshine State. And on Saturday night in Cleveland, the Bulls (25/1 to win NBA championship, Sportingbet) broke the defending Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers and LeBron James off something proper, winning 96-83, and leading pretty much all the way as C Pau Gasol played a great game, scoring 25 points, taking down 10 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists in the win while G Jimmy Butler (20 points), G Derrick Rose (12 points) and F Taj Gibson (15 points) were all also in double-digits scoring from the starting 5 while second-year PF Nikola Mirotic (15 points, 6 rebounds) had a very nice game off the Bulls Bench. With C Joakim Noah (Shoulder) now Out for the Season, Gasol stepping up in the middle will be huge for Chicago (2-7 ATS L9 overall) which also has injuries to SG E’Twaun Moore (Hamstring, Out Monday), SG Kirk Hinrich (Quadricep, Out Indefinitely) and SG Mike Dunleavy (Back, Mid-February Return Hopeful). The Bulls have been starting Tony Snell at SF and obviously have a much smaller starting unit they are working with now that Noah is gone for the year and will probably play spurts of good and bad basketball from now until the NBA Playoffs, but are just too small and understaffed to make a run for any glory this season. Again.


Series Trends, Logical Reasoning and Picks
This seems like one of those game on which heavy weight can be placed on the collective Emotional and Physical well-beings of the teams and have that reality carry more weight than any Trends, ATS Records or other handicapping data. Why? Because of the major funk the Heat are in (Losses by 25, 12, 19 and 20 points in L4) and the players who are beat up and those who are out. Those L4 Heat SU losses were also ATS losses and all 4 went Under the Total. Trend-wise, the Under is 8-1 ATS the L9 Miami games against the NBA Central, so combined with that last streak, the Heat’s overwhelming 29-14-1 ATS Under mark this season, the Under is the look here. The Under is also an incredibly strong 38-18-1 ATS the L57 Heat Road games (67.9%) although the Over is 7-2 ATS in the L9 Bulls games overall and 7-3 the L10 Chicago dribbles here at the United Center. But in this series specifically—both teams 5-5 ATS L10 meetings with Road teams winning L3 SU—the Under has ruled here in the Windy City, going 13-6 ATS the L19 meetings. So, with all that and the Under also hitting the last 5 times in this series (6-4 Under L10) the Under is the plug-in call in the Total here. And with Chicago is #1 in the NBA in Offensive rebounding (48.9 rpg), #1 in Defensive FG % (42.5%) and #1 in Free Throw shooting (70.9%), taking the Bulls—a team in a better head space, at Home and who are considerably less beat up—and laying the points is the NBA pick here against the Heat who are just 6-20 ATS their L26 against the NBA Central.

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