Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls Saturday NBA Betting Odds

MiamiSuper Bowl Sunday is now only two days away and everybody’s chiming in on the Super Bowl odds and their NFL picks. With all the hype surrounding the event, it’s easy to miss some fascinating matchups that possibly could be playoff previews in the NBA. This Saturday, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat travel to Chicago to face Derrick Rose and the Bulls.

Miami Heat (24-26, 8th in Eastern Conference) @ Chicago Bulls (23-24, 7th in Eastern Conference)

Betting Tips:

Spread: Bulls -3

Over/Under: 194

Money Line: Bulls -175, Heat + 145

Key Storylines

Bronze Medal: Who will stop Deng?

  • Bulls SF Luol Deng is having a great season, improving his three point shooting significantly (career: 30.9%, 2009-10: 42.6%) and his overall shot and shot selection. Deng is now crashing the boards more than he ever (7.7 rebounds per game) and has added a physical nature to his defensive game. The Heat start Quentin Richardson at small forward who is 6-5…maybe, and will have no chance guarding Deng. I expect Dwayne Wade to cover Deng a bit, but that means Derrick Rose gets to feast on Rafer Alston’s exceptionally poor defensive game if he does. Deng averages 17.7 points a game and has become a coveted player throughout the league.
  • Advantage: Bulls

Silver Medal: Who steps up for Joakim Noah?

  • Noah has been a big reason for the Bulls success of late with his defensive ability under the basket and his improved pick and roll game on offense. He will be out however up through the all-star break to rest his foot which has plantar fasciitis. Playing in his stead will be former All-Star C Brad Miller. Miller is a very different player than Noah as Miller is a good shooter and significantly less of a defensive threat. Miller plays away from the basket exceptionally well and can draw out bigs from under the basket allowing his skilled teammates to clean up on the offensive boards. Miller may be a better fit for Derrick Rose’s offensive game in much the same way Mehmet Okur compliments Deron Williams’. Expect Taj Gibson and Tyrus Thomas to split duties guarding the opposing big man threat on the Heat (which is the corpse of Jermaine O’Neal and the solid shooting PF, Udonis Haslem). The Bulls will play a more upbeat fast paced game without Noah and it may benefit them in this matchup.
  • Advantage: Bulls, Noah’s loss will force the Bulls to play a style that the Heat don’t play well against

Gold Medal: How do the Bulls stop Dwayne Wade?

  • The short answer is they don’t. Wade is one of the premier players in this league and the Heat would be a lottery team without him. Wade is one of the toughest competitors the game has ever seen and does not shy away from trying to stuff dunks down the throats of power forwards and centers as well as swat their dunk attempts away. Wade is an average jump shooter, but is one of the best finishers at the basket in the game and is electrifying when he cuts to the hole. Wade has supreme instincts and seems to always find the passing lane on both sides of the ball. The Bulls will throw double teams at him when he goes down low with Kirk Hinrich certainly not enough to cover Wade alone. Luol Deng will have to step up at some point in the game and help out on Wade and that matchup will be exciting to watch. Wade likely will end the game with over 30 points win or lose, but he is the type of player that can win a game all on his own. The Bulls will not be able to stop him, but they can try to contain his ability to get the rest of his team involved on the offense.
  • Advantage: Heat

Prediction:

  • The Bulls have been playing well of late and the Heat have stayed close against some of the top teams in the NBA including the Celtics and Cavaliers in the past week. I expect a back and forth game with two of the most exciting players the NBA has to offer in Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade stealing the show. I like the Bulls to win this game at home, but it will be awfully close and regulation may not be able to decide it.
  • Final: Bulls 115 - Heat 109 OT. Take the over and the Bulls (money line) at home.

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