Miami Heat (37-34 SU 35-35-1 ATS) at Chicago Bulls (33-37 SU 35-33-2 ATS) United Center Chicago IL, Thursday March 25, 2010 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Heat +1 / Bulls -1
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Tonight in a very important Eastern Conference match up for both teams the Chicago Bulls host the Miami Heat. The Bulls recently snapped their 10-game losing streak and they have won 2 in a row. The Bulls need to keep up their winning ways, as they are in the 9th spot in the East 1.5 games back of the Toronto Raptors.
The Heat have also won 2 in a row and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. Miami is tied with Charlotte for the 6th spot in the East, but they only have a slim 1.5 game lead over Toronto. The Bulls want to simply make the playoffs and while the Heat would like to do the same they also want to avoid the 8th and 7th seed in the post-season so they would avoid playing Cleveland and Orlando in the 1st round of the playoffs.
This season the Bulls are 20-14 at home and the Heat are 16-18 on the road.
The Bulls have won 2 of the 3 games against the Heat this season both at home.
The Heat are not a high scoring team and for them to win Dwayne Wade (26.5 ppg) needs to score. However, the Windy City has not been kind to him, as in his last 12 games in Chicago he has only averaged 17.7 ppg.
While Wade has struggled in Chicago Jermaine O’Neal (13.8 ppg) has been solid against the Bulls averaging 24.5 ppg and 11 rpg in his last 2 games against the Bulls and in his last 7 games overall he is averaging 17.9 ppg.
Chicago is also a low scoring team and they have Derrick Rose (20.5 ppg) back at 100% after missing a few games with a wrist injury. In his last 2 games he has averaged 25 ppg and the Bulls will need his offense tonight.
In their last game on Tuesday night the Heat beat the lowly New Jersey Nets 99-89. The high scorer for Miami in the game was Wade going for 27 points on 9/13 shooting and he also dished out 12 assists. For the game the Heat shot lights out going 41/74 from the field for a FG% of 55.4%. On defense the Heat really clamped down holding the Nets to 27/72 shooting for a FG% of 37.5%.
The Bulls also won on Tuesday night beating the Houston Rockets 98-88. The high scorer for Chicago in the game was Derrick Rose going for 27 points on 12/22 shooting. For the game the Bulls shot 37/78 for a FG% of 47.4%. On D the Bulls were stellar holding the Rockets to only 30/89 shooting for a FG% of 33.7%.
This season the Bulls rank 23rd in the league in scoring (97.2 ppg) and the Heat rank 26th (96 ppg). Miami rank 3rd in the league in opponents’ point allowed (94.8 ppg) and the Bulls rank 14th (99.5 ppg). Both teams are decent on the boards, as the Bulls are at +1.1 rpg and the heat are at +0.6 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Heat rank 15th (91.05) and the Bulls rank 20th (88.72).
Miami is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against teams with a losing record, 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5, and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a win.
Miami has an Under record of 7-1-2 in Heat last 10 road games, an Under record of 6-1-1 in Heat last 8 games as a road underdog, and have an Over record of 7-1-2 in their last 10 games.
Chicago is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against team with a winning record, and is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games against teams with a losing road record.
Chicago has an Under record of 4-1 in their last 5 games, an Over record of 6-2 in their last 8 games as a home favorite, and an Over record of 7-3 in their last 10 home games.
On the injury front PF Udonis Haslem, C Jermaine O’Neal, SG Quentin Richardson, and SG are all day-to-day for Miami and C Joakim Noah is day-to-day for Chicago.
Jason’s Pick: Both teams are desperate for wins as the season draws to a close. While Wade has struggled in Chicago I think he will break his slump tonight in the Windy City and have a great game. The Heat are better on defense and that will be the key tonight. Take the Heat cover and win the game straight up.