Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat - 3/9/14
Miami Heat (43-16) at Chicago Bulls (34-28)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm (United Center)
The Line: Chicago Bulls +3.5 -- Over/Under: 188.5 See the Latest Odds
The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls will continue their rivalry on Sunday afternoon. This will be the fourth and final regular season matchup between these teams, and the Heat lead the series 2-1.
The Heat have lost their first two games of this three-game road trip and haven’t even had a single lead in either matchup. In Thursday’s lost to the Spurs, they turned the ball over 20 times and shot just 43 percent from the field. In their last five games, they’re averaging 106.8 points on 52.8 percent shooting and are allowing 100.8 points on 46.7 percent shooting. On the road, the Heat average 101.8 points and allow 98.5 points. They are 27-30-2 ATS overall and 16-14-1 ATS on the road.
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The Bulls have won five of their last seven, but have lost two of their last three games. They continue to stick to their roots, which is playing terrific defense, as they’ve allowed just one 100-point performance in their last 11 games. However, they continue to struggle finding offensive production, as they’re averaging just 94.2 points on 47.7 percent shooting in their last five matchups. At home, the Bulls average 94.1 points and allow a ridiculous 89.6 points. They are 32-30 ATS overall and 15-14 ATS on their home court.
Given the Heat’s struggles recently, this spread is a little lower than it should be. They lost back-to-back games to two balanced championship contenders. There is no reason to panic. While the Bulls are wonderful defensively, they simply don’t have the offense to compete with Miami when shots are falling. Even in the Heat’s losses, they’re still scoring at will.
Miami has covered five of the last seven meetings against Chicago and is 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings following an ATS loss.
The Bulls are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games, but given the small number, I have no choice but to back the defending champs.