Bulls at Heat Picks and Game 1 NBA Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 5/6/2013
The Bulls drew the short straw. They are the unfortunate souls who have run into the unstoppable force that is the Miami Heat. Even in the best-case scenario the Bulls would more than have their hands full with this matchup. Thanks to a series of injury developments so bizarre that you wouldn’t believe them if you read them in a movie script, though, this is far from the best case scenario for the Bulls. The question isn’t which team is going to win the series — the Heat are a ridiculous yet totally justifiable -2500 to win — but whether the Bulls can win a game or even stay close in the inevitable losses.
Bulls at Heat Betting Storylines
About those Chicago injuries. The biggest storyline is obviously Derrick Rose. At this point it would take a psychiatrist a month to get to the bottom of what is going on with the former MVP. He has reportedly been medically cleared to play for almost two months, yet he won’t play, and the excuses he has given when he has spoken at all are just ridiculous. His team could desperately use what he can offer — obviously — but he seems unwilling to offer it. There are rumors that he will be back for some or all of this series, but it’s hard to believe that he really will or that it will have a major impact if he does. Then there is Luol Deng. It was suspected during the last series that he could have meningitis. He was given a spinal tap to find out. No meningitis, but the spinal tap has caused real problems — headaches, balance issues, and so on that have led him to be hospitalized. He missed the last two games of the last series and is out for at least the first game of this one as well. As if those two strange stories aren’t enough, Kirk Hinrich is questionable, too. A bad calf cost him the last three games of the first round, and he’s questionable here, too.
While the injuries are a real concern, and likely fatal here, the significance of the issue could be overstated. After all, the Bulls did manage to beat the Nets in seven games despite being so short-handed, and they made Brooklyn look ridiculous in the deciding game. It’s not much to hang a hat on, but it’s something.
On the injury front, the news is much brighter for the Heat. Their only injury of note was Dwyane Wade. His omnipresent knee issues have been a problem again lately, and he was unable to play in the deciding game of the Milwaukee series. He was hardly missed, of course — I could have started in his place and the team still would have cruised. Miami has had a full week off since then, though, so he has had plenty of time to heal, and he’ll be ready. He says that he is concerned about his conditioning, but that impact can easily be overblown. In short, Miami is not only a vastly superior team, but a vastly superior, healthy team. Ouch.
One more small sliver of hope for the Bulls — they have had a lot more success against Miami this year than most teams have. They are 2-2 against the Heat, and that includes the win on March 27 that ended Miami’s 27-game winning streak and essentially marked the end of Miami’s regular season effort. Deng was a major force in that victory, so he will be missed. At least the Bulls can salvage some sort of a belief that they could be at least somewhat competitive. They’ll need any rallying point they can get
Bulls at Heat Game 1 NBA Odds and Betting Trends
Chicago does not carry momentum well — they are just 1-8 ATS in their last nine games following a straight up win. Chicago has gone over the total in their last four games. Miami gone over in their last four home games against teams with a winning road record (the Bulls are 23-22 away from home).
Bulls at Heat Picks and Game 1 Predictions
I don’t like giving up so many points, but I can’t justify anything other than taking the Heat. The Bulls are ridiculously banged up, and that makes already-concerning matchup issues a major issue. Miami is rested, very focused, and not interested in playing any more games than they absolutely have to. They are a very strong home team, and they will be fired up. Chicago just isn’t going to win this game, so it comes down to whether or not they can keep it close. A blowout seems more reasonable. I could see Chicago close early on, but they just don’t have enough in the tank to play 48 minutes against the Heat. Miami is the pick.
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