NBA Betting: Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat

NBA Betting:  Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat

The Miami Heat resume their defense of the NBA title on Monday following a 4-0 opening round sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks did manage to cover one of these games, losing by 12 as +14 underdogs, but other than that it was wall to wall Miami domination. They’ll try to resume their impressive form against a Chicago Bulls team that many people didn’t expect to be here. The Bulls have been riddled with injuries in the past month but some strong efforts from their healthy players allowed them to earn a 7 game series win over one of the least mentally tough teams in the league, the Brooklyn Nets.

That’s a good jumping off point for our analysis of Game 1 of the Heat/Bulls series–it’s always tough for a team coming off a Game 7 win to quickly wheel back for their next series. This difficulty is compounded when they’re playing the best team in basketball with the best player in basketball–LeBron James–who are rested after a 4 game opening round sweep. The Heat have been a force of nature since the latter part of the NBA regular season winning 12 straight games going 10-2 ATS. Since they’re the biggest ‘public’ team in the sport and are always laying big numbers when they take the court this underscores just how good this team is playing right now.

The Bulls have been reasonably competitive with the Heat in the past few years. The teams have split the last 16 meetings straight up and Chicago has been fairly strong at Miami. The Heat have won 5 of the last 7 meetings at American Airlines Arena but hold only a 4-3 ATS edge. Even this season without superstar Derrick Rose in the lineup the Bulls won two of four meetings including one at Miami. Of course it’s one thing for a team playing without their superstar to steal a couple of wins during the long NBA season, another entirely to do it in the playoffs–and especially given the situation.

Chicago’s ATS run to this point has been kind of strange–despite an upset series win over Brooklyn they’re just 6-12 ATS in their last 18 games. Considering they’re a team that no one had any expectations for during that stretch that shows a dangerous tendency to underachieve on some nights. And ‘underachieving’ isn’t an option against the mighty Miami Heat who should roll in Game 1 and sweep this series.