Two teams will battle it out for the top seed in the Eastern Conference on Thursday night as the Chicago Bulls travel to take on the Miami Heat. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on TNT. Currently the odds have the Heat favored by 5.5 points with the total sitting at 184 points for the game.
Free Analysis: The Heat and Bulls have been battling for the top spot in the Eastern Conference all season. Currently the Bulls have the top overall spot and lead the Heat by 2.5 games. However, a win tonight by Chicago would wrap up that No. 1 seed and home court advantage throughout the conference playoffs. The status of Derrick Rose still remains to be seen for tonight's game, but the Bulls have already been able to prove they can beat the Heat without him. Chicago knocked off Miami 106-102 back in March without Rose and won in the team's last game over Miami 96-86 when Rose struggled shooting. The Bulls are 17-8 without Rose in the lineup this season. Yet, the Heat have been one of the best teams at home during the regular season so far, winning 26 of the team's 30 games there to date. Chicago was a very good team away from home this season, picking up wins in 23 of their 31 away games. Tonight, Chicago will look to avoid a fourth consecutive road loss in Miami in this one tonight. They have averaged 90.3 points and shot 41.6 percent in the three-game losing streak in Miami. Chicago dropped a game to the Wizards earlier this week but rebounded well to beat up on the lowly Charlotte Bobcats in their last game. The Heat have won four straight games overall. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh didn't play last night but LeBron James scored 28 in the team's win over Toronto, when Miami shot 53 percent. Both Wade and Bosh are expected to play tonight in this game. If Rose plays, all the stars will be out on the court, which is the way it should be this late in the season.
Free Pick: James has excelled playing against the Bulls, averaging 33.3 points on 51.4 percent shooting against them this year. The Heat have averaged 100 points even per game this season and I like them overall in this game. I'm expecting the Bulls to keep this game close, even if Rose doesn't play. Not sure how we feel about the total in this game, but the Bulls should stay within the 5.5 points here tonight. There's a lot on the line in this game and the Bulls have a chance to wrap up the top spot in the East. Not saying they will win, but we will gladly scoop up the 5.5 points.
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Bulls at Heat - Best Bet from Marco DAngelo
Quick revenge game for Heat and Bulls offense is iffy because Rose is iffy plus other factors NBA bettors need to know about Bulls at Heat (Thursday, April 19, 2012) from Pregame.com - Including predictions from Stephen Nover and analysis from host Marco D'Angelo.