Heat at Bulls Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 3/27/2013
The Miami Heat will look to move one game closer to setting the all-time NBA mark for consecutive wins when they square off against the Chicago Bulls this Wednesday night at the United Center. This Eastern Conference showdown is slated to tip off at 8 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
The Heat extended their current winning streak to 27 games with their third consecutive double-digit rout. Last Friday they beat Detroit by 14 points at home and then added a 32-point victory over Charlotte at home on Sunday and a 14-point road win over Orlando on Monday night to the growing pile of victims.
Chicago comes into this matchup with back-to-back victories over Indiana at home and Minnesota on the road. It covered the spread in both games, and the “over/under” split. The Bulls are still just 3-4 straight up and 4-3 against the spread in their last seven games. The total has gone over in four of the contests.
Heat at Bulls Betting Storylines
Even with Dwyane Wade out of the lineup with a sore knee, Miami’s unstoppable machine has not missed a beat. LeBron James continues to play some of the best ball in his storied career, and the entire team has also performed at a high level night after night. The Heat are ranked fifth in the NBA in scoring with 103.5 points a game, but they have now eclipsed that total in six of their last 10 outings.
While Miami has won of number of games by simply lighting up the scoreboard during this incredible streak, it has also been able to elevate its play on the other end of the court. The Heat are definitely not known as a rebounding team in general with an average of 38.5 boards a game, but they do a much better job pulling them down on defense. They are also holding teams to an average of 95.5 points a game, which is ranked seventh in the league.
The eyes of the nation will be on the United Center this Wednesday night to see if the Bulls have what it takes to end this streak. Current form suggests that they will become just another notch on the belt in the Heat’s quest to surpass the Lakers 1971/72 record of 33 straight wins. Chicago already has some injury concerns with Joakim Noah listed as questionable with a sore foot and Marco Belinelli suffering from an abdominal strain.
Playing away from home is no longer an issue for Miami with 13-straight road wins, but Chicago playing this game at home is not as great as an advantage as you might think. The Bulls are just 19-16 SU at the United Center this season verses a 19-15 SU record on the road. They are a costly 11-24 ATS at home while covering the spread in 20 of 34 road games.
Heat at Bulls Betting Odds and Trends
The opening line on BetOnline has Miami listed as a five-point road favorite with the over/under line set at 186.
The Heat are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 road games and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed under in nine of their last 14 games.
The Bulls are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games against the Southeast Division and 6-19-1 ATS in their last 26 games playing on two days’ rest. The total has stayed under in their last four games against a team with a winning record.
Head-to-head in this matchup, Miami is 7-3 SU in the last 10 meetings and 6-4 ATS. The total has stayed under in six of the last seven games. These two have split this season’s series 1-1 both SU and ATS with the road team winning each time. The total stayed under in both games.
Heat at Bulls Picks and Betting Predictions
This will be one the Heat’s toughest tests since squeaking by Boston a little over a week ago. After racking up four more victories against the bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference since the close call against the Celtics, they could be due for a bit of a letdown in this game. Look for Chicago’s shut-down defense to keep Miami in check for most of the night, but the Bulls will not go down in history as the team that ended the streak. Given both team’s injury situation, this game could go either way ATS depending on the closing line, but the under on the total line remains a solid play no matter who is on the court.
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