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Bulls vs. Heat: Play-In tournament betting odds and predictions for Apr. 19

Publish Date: 04/19/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe
Key Points
  • Miami will play without Jimmy Butler, who was injured on Wednesday.
  • The Heat are 13-9 this season without Butler.
  • Chicago thrives in the midrange, an area where Miami rarely gives up shots.
  • The Bulls hold an edge in the rebounding department, but lack perimeter defense.
  • Miami sits just outside the Top 10 in 3-point shooting.

After squandering a lead against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first leg of the NBA Play-In Tournament on Wednesday, the Miami Hear look to secure the final spot in the NBA Playoffs against the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Can the Heat ride their elite defensive play into the postseason, or will Chicago's surging offense lead it to a second straight win? Let's dive into this matchup to make a Bulls vs Heat prediction and pick.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Miami is in a brutal spot here with the season on the line and Jimmy Butler unavailable. The star forward injured his knee late in Wednesday's loss to the Sixers in the first leg of the play-in tournament and will leave plenty of work to be done on the defensive end to his teammates.

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The good news is that other than Terry Rozier, who's been out for the last five games after injuring his neck, and Josh Richardson who was lost back in February, Miami will have its full complement of shooters and can count on Bam Adebayo to anchor the defense.

Chicago comes into the second round of the Play-In tournament having won of six of its last 10 games including Wednesday's victory.

Chicago is just happy to be here after a topsy-turvy season which saw just about every key player on the roster get injured. They were lifted to a monumental win over the Hawks in the first round of the play-in tournament by Coby White's 42 points and will bring some exceptional guard play into this matchup.

CHICAGO BULLS VS. MIAMI HEAT FANDUEL ODDS FOR APR. 19

MONEY LINE

  • CHICAGO BULLS: +104
  • MIAMI HEAT: -122

SPREAD

  • CHICAGO BULLS: +1.5 (-108)
  • MIAMI HEAT: -1.5 (-112)

OVER/UNDER (TOTAL)

  • OVER 206.5 (-110)
  • UNDER 206.5 (-110)

BEST ODDS FOR CHICAGO BULLS VS. MIAMI HEAT

  • The Miami Heat are 1.5-point favorites to cover the spread against the Chicago Bulls. The best line on Miami is over at Caesars, offering Heat -1.5 (-110)
  • The Chicago Bulls are the underdogs by 1.5 at most books, though DraftKings has the best odds on Chicago +2 (-120).
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  • The odds on the total are uniform across the board, with FanDuel offering -110 on the Over or Under 206.5.

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CHICAGO BULLS VS. MIAMI HEAT INJURY REPORT

CHICAGO BULLS INJURY REPORT

  • AYO DOSUNMU - QUESTIONABLE - QUADRICEP
  • ANDRE DRUMMOND - QUESTIONABLE - ANKLE
  • ALEX CARUSO - QUESTIONABLE - ANKLE
  • PATRICK WILLIAMS - OUT FOR SEASON - FOOT
  • ZACH LAVINE - OUT FOR SEASON - ANKLE
  • LONZO BALL - OUT FOR SEASON - ANKLE

MIAMI HEAT INJURY REPORT

  • JIMMY BUTLER - OUT - KNEE
  • TYLER HERO - AVAILABLE - FOOT
  • KEVIN LOVE - AVAILABLE - FOOT
  • DUNCAN ROBINSON - PROBABLE - BACK
  • TERRY ROZIER - OUT - NECK
  • JOSH RICHARDSON - OUT FOR SEASON - SHOULDER

WHY CHICAGO BULLS WILL COVER THE SPREAD

Chicago's biggest weapon here is its health, which is quite the statement to make given just about everyone on this team has been hurt all season long. Alex Caruso has popped up on the injury report after dealing with an issue late in the season, and if he's indeed out or if Dosunmu or Drummond can't go, the playing field will be a bit more level.

Still, going at a Heat team which is missing Butler, their elite defense will be a touch worse. Chicago may not be a team that loves to shoot from 3, something that's even more evident with a league-low 28.3% shot frequency since the start of April, but this is a team that thrives in the midrange.

That's where Butler really hurts, and he likely would have been the primary defender on DeMar DeRozan, who is a midrange specialist.

DeRozan wasn't asked to lift Chicago offensively, but he very well could do that here on Friday with Butler, sitting in the top 20% of players in Estimated Defensive Impact, off the floor for Miami. Duncan Robinson and Jaime Jaquez sit much closer to the league average in that category and will likely be tasked with defending the six-time All-Star.

The Bulls also sit 10th in rebounding rate in the second half of the season, and Miami continues to struggle in that regard, which will certainly play a big role in this one given the very low implied total. It's worth noting that Drummond comes into this one with a questionable tag, but this should still be an edge for the visitors.

WHY MIAMI HEAT WILL COVER THE SPREAD

The Heat are 13-9 without Butler this season and 12-6 in their last 18 games without the 13-year veteran. It's not out of the question they can win this game without him, especially given the quality of the opponent here.

Miami may not have a great answer for DeRozan, but it does have a far superior team. It ranked second in defensive efficiency in the second half of the season and will be up against an offense that is fresh off an incredible performance but still was marginally-above average since the All-Star break.

Chicago is inefficient with its scoring given its reliance on long two-point jumpers, and the Heat have also been down towards the bottom of the league in mid-range shots allowed per 100 possessions.

They force their opponents to shoot from beyond the arc or take the ball inside, which are two things the Bulls have no interest in doing.

On the flip side, their offense isn't the strongest but it's far superior to the Bulls' and will in a favorable spot against a porous perimeter defense. The Bulls rank 18th against the 3 this season and 26th since the start of April, and with Adebayo taking on more volume in the scoring department their middling numbers inside the arc should be exposed.

FINAL BULLS-HEAT PICK & PREDICTION

It's not very fun to bet on a team which is missing one of the most impactful players in the NBA, but I do think Miami has plenty here to take out the Bulls and earn a spot in the playoffs. It has been excellent in forcing opponents to shoot over its elite 3-point defense, and while it's allowed a bevvy of shots -- and made field goals -- at the rim this isn't somewhere the Bulls excel.

Coby White was able to shred Trae Young and an abysmal Hawks defense, making the Bulls out to be a much better offensive team than they really are. This is a significant step up, and I expect them to struggle as a result.

Miami has taken two of its last three over Chicago, once without Adebayo, and while it fell at home to the Bulls very early in the season it was a poor first quarter that really did the team in. I expect a much better start here with the stakes high, and the team playing much more cohesive ball than we saw back in mid-December.

FINAL BULLS-HEAT PICK & PREDICTION: HEAT MONEYLINE (-120)

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