Bulls vs Heat Best Bet: Expert Pick for NBA Play-In Tournament Game

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Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Beverley.

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Chicago Bulls +5.5 | Bet to +4.5
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The battle for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference comes down to the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. The longtime rivals square off on Friday night in the Kaseya Center in the first NBA Play-In Tournament of the day.

Sports betting extraordinaire Chris Raybon has his eye on the Bulls spread, which is currently +5.5 at FanDuel, for a number of reasons.

Rebounding

In the Heat’s first Play-In game against the Hawks, they were dominated on the glass and were outrebounded 63-39. Miami ranks just 21st in offensive rebounding (21.8%) and will now facing a Chicago squad that ranks third in defensive rebounding percentage – second chances could be hard to come by for the Heat.

Head-to-Head

In the regular season, Chicago went 3-0 both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in its meetings with Miami. All the Bulls’ wins came as underdogs.

Defending the Long Ball

Miami’s defense is the ninth-worst when it comes to 3-point percentage allowed (36.7%). In Miami's meetings with Chicago this season, the Bulls shot 42.6% from beyond the arc and averaged 14.3 3-pointers made per contest. On the season, the Bulls only averaged 10.4 makes on 36.1% shooting from distance.

Net Rating

In terms of net rating, the Bulls’ mark of +1.3 (13th) is superior to the Heat’s -0.2 (21st). Since March 1, the Bulls actually have a +3.3 rating compared to Miami’s +0.2.

Heat ATS stats

  • 14-25-2 ATS (35.9%) at home.
  • 20-36-3 ATS (35.7%) as a favorite.
  • 11-24-2 ATS (31.4%) as a home favorite, but 44-39 (53.0%) SU – even when the Heat win as a favorite, they often fail to cover.
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