NBA Betting Odds and Picks: Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls

Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls
Thursday, 2/21/13, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -2.5
Current Betting Line:  Miami -3
Opening Total:  186.5
Current Total:  186
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Heat Celtics NBA Game Preview
The Miami Heat have won a season-high eight consecutive games

Miami has won eight games in a row, including a 103-90 victory over the Atlanta Hawks as 5.5-point road favorites last night, while going UNDER the posted total of 196.  The Heat have averaged 107.6 points on 51.4 percent shooting over the course of their current season-high winning streak.  Forward LeBron James is the main player to watch on the offensive end, as he’s averaged 32.6 points in his last 17 trips to the Windy City.  Miami is 0-3 ATS on the road when the total is between 185 and 189.5, which can’t be ignored when making your NBA picks against the spread Thursday night.

The Heat are 14-11 overall on the road, including a 6-7 mark versus Eastern Conference opponents.  Miami suffered a 96-89 setback in its first meeting with Chicago  as 7.5-point home favorites on Jan. 4, while going UNDER the total for the fifth time in six opportunities.  James has been playing incredible basketball during the team’s streak, averaging 31.0 points on 67.2 percent shooting.

Chicago hasn’t won back-to-back games since Jan. 28-30, as it comes off a 96-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets as one-point road favorites Tuesday night, while going OVER the posted total of 181.5.  “Some us are still banged up, but we’re playing through it,” commented Bulls forward Carlos Boozer.  He has averaged 14.8 points and 9.8 rebounds in 24 career games versus the Heat.  The franchise is 15-12 overall at the United Center this year, including 10-5 versus conference foes.  Chicago is 7-20 ATS in front of its home fans this year, which is important to consider when looking over the NBA betting lines.

The Bulls have led the NBA in home attendance three straight seasons and continue to do so once against his year with an average of 21.736 fans per game.  Chicago is 30-14 all-time when playing at home against Miami, including four straight victories.  The squad is 23-10 versus conference opponents this year, which is the best mark for any team in the east against conference foes.

Sports bettors will likely back the Bulls due to their 4-1 ATS mark in the last five meetings, while the Heat are 1-7 ATS versus Central division opponents.

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