With just a week of regular season play remaining, the battle for the Eastern Conference’s top seed wages on as leaders Chicago and Miami collide at the AmericanAirlines Arena tonight. This evening’s dust up between the Bulls and Heat is scheduled for an 8:00pm ET tip off on TNT. NBA Odds have the Heat listed as a -3.5 against the spread home favorite; the Over/Under is set at 188 points.
Miami’s hopes of securing the top seed in the Eastern Conference are slim, but they remain alive with five games left on the schedule. However, a win tonight is imperative if the Heat do hope to reel in the Bulls as they presently trail Chicago by 2.5 games in the overall standings.
Several factors are working in Miami’s favor this evening, though. Both Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are game time decisions, the Heat have won their last four games, and tonight’s showdown will take place in South Florida.
Since going through a difficult 1-3 stretch last week the Heat have knocked off Charlotte, New York, New Jersey, and Toronto by an average of 14.3 points per game. Miami also owns are 26-4 record at the AmericanAirlines Arena, a place where it has had success against Chicago of late. Going back to last year’s playoffs, the Heat have won their last three games against the Bulls in Miami.
Chicago, understandably, has faltered some down the stretch with Rose missing 15 of the team’s last 18 games. The Bulls were still an impressive 10-5 in those games, but most of their troubles have been recent as they are 5-4 in the month of April.
It is difficult to envision Chicago overcoming Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Heat this evening, especially if Rose and Deng are out of action. The biggest question is how much of a fight can the Bulls give what is certain to be a motivated Miami squad.
NBA Odds Betting Trend: The Bulls are 7-3 against the spread and 6-4 straight up in their last 10 games as a road dog (the Under was 8-2 in those games).
2012 NBA Odds Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat: Provided by TopBet.com
Chicago Bulls +3.5 (-110), Over 188 (-110)
Miami Heat -3.5 (-110), Under 188 (-110)