Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat – NBA April 26

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 shot 48 percent from the field in that contest, but were unable to overcome the 17 turnovers they committed.

Chicago Bulls LogoThe 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.

Miami Heat LogoGuard 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.

Please note:
Miami is just as thin, the Heat played four of their five starters over 35 minutes, and Kendrick Nunn who had 22 points in 35 minutes on Saturday is questionable Monday. Igudola also played 18 minutes in the previous matchup and will miss 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.

Take Chicago and the six points to make the proper adjustments and utilize its depth advantage to take a tired Miami team down to the wire with a real chance to steal a quality road win.
The Bet
Chicago +6

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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