8 p.m. ET – Chicago at Miami (-6) O/U: 206.5
The 23-35 Bulls stay in Miami to take on the 32-29 Heat once again Monday evening. These two teams met on Saturday in American Airlines Arena, where the Heat held on to win, 106-101, despite getting outscored 38-26 in the final quarter.
The Bulls will be without All-Star guard Zach Lavine again on Monday night as he is still sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols. Lavine leads the team in points and assists, so his absence places a lot of pressure on the rest of the team to pick up the slack. On Saturday, guard Coby White did just that when he scored 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field.
The Bulls also will need another big game from center Nikola Vucevic, who had 26 points and 14 rebounds in the previous matchup. Since being acquired at the trade deadline from the Magic, Vucevic has averaged 22.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in his 17 games on the team. Vucevic will continue to be the No. 1 scoring threat for Chicago until Lavine returns to the court.
Guard Jimmy Butler leads the Heat with 21.3 points and 7.3 assists per game this season. Butler had a big game against the Bulls on Saturday, scoring 20 points while recording eight assists. It was guard Duncan Robinson who led the team in scoring, however, with 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting from beyond the three-point line.
Miami could need another big performance from Robinson with guards Tyler Herro (foot) and Kendrick Nunn (elbow) questionable for Monday night while guard Andre Igudola (hip) has been ruled out. Chicago has fallen to 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings, two games behind Washington for the final spot in the play-in tournament the NBA is using this season. Meanwhile, the Heat sit tied with the Celtics for the sixth-place spot in the Eastern, with the sixth seed being the last team in each conference to avoid the play-in tournament all together. The bottom line is that this game is crucial to both sides and their playoff aspirations.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Chicago Bulls||+6 (-110)||+195||O 206 (-110)|
|Miami Heat||-6 (-110)||-245||U 206 (-110)|
At first glance, it appears that the Heat would be the best bet for Monday night as they won Saturday by five points despite getting outscored by 12 in the fourth quarter and being without Zach Lavine again for the rematch.
The Bulls have the ability to feed Vucevic down low and potentially get Heat center Bam Adebayo into foul trouble in the early going.
*Odds courtesy of MyBookie