NBA Play-In Tournament: Bulls vs. Heat Betting Picks

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
NBA Play-In Tournament: Bulls vs. Heat Betting Picks

The Eastern Conference features a Friday night battle between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat for the final spot in the playoffs.

Chicago rolled in their first Play-In Tournament game, taking down the Atlanta Hawks 131-116. Miami's first play-in appearance didn't go near as well. After holding a 12-point lead at halftime against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Heat saw their cushion diminish, falling 105-104 on the road.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA playoff odds, Miami is viewed as the slight home favorite, but the Heat have some injury concerns ahead of Friday's game. Will the Bulls take advantage of a weakened Miami roster? Let's check out the odds and stats for this matchup, followed by a breakdown of Friday's collision.

All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

NBA Play-In Tournament Betting Picks

Bulls-Heat Betting Odds

Date and Time: Friday, April 19th at 7:00 p.m. ET

Spread: Heat -1.5 (-112)

Total: 205.5


  • Bulls: +106
  • Heat: -124

Bulls vs. Heat Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Adjusted offensive/defensive ratings, pace, and shot distribution via DunksAndThrees.

  • Bulls:
    • nERD: 47.4 (20th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 114.3 (19th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 116.3 (22nd)
    • Pace: 96.8 (28th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 41-40-1
    • Shot Distribution and Efficiency:
      • Rim: 33.7% (19th) - 60.7% (24th)
      • Mid: 30.5% (29th) - 45.0% (7th)
      • 3PT: 35.8% (28th) - 35.9% (20th)
  • Heat:
    • nERD: 56.2 (15th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 113.1 (21st)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 112.0 (5th)
    • Pace: 96.7 (29th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 40-40-2
    • Shot Distribution and Efficiency:
      • Rim: 30.4% (29th) - 61.2% (23rd)
      • Mid: 30.2% (28th) - 44.2% (14th)
      • 3PT: 39.4% (14th) - 37.0% (12th)

Bulls vs. Heat Best Bet

Bulls Moneyline (+106)

Before digging into the matchup, let's go over the Heat's injuries. Most importantly, Jimmy Butler sustained an MCL injury in Wednesday's game but managed to tough it out. Butler is now expected to miss multiple weeks due to the injury. Terry Rozier also missed Wednesday's contest due to a neck setback and could be in danger of missing this game.

Butler and Rozier are among the Heat's top four scorers and four most-used players, per usage rate. This will be a tall task with the Bulls rounding into form.

Ahead of this clash, Chicago is 3-1 over their last four games while going 4-0 against the spread (ATS). They dominated in the play-in matchup against the Hawks. The Bulls were an absolute force around the rim, posting 72 points in the paint to Atlanta's 44.

Chicago has won the paint battle in five consecutive games, outscoring opponents by an average of 14.8 points per game. They've also logged 64.8 points in the paint per game during this span. This is a big increase over their season average of 48.7 (11th-worst).

With the Heat carrying the second-worst shot distribution around the rim, the paint battle could pose problems for Miami. They also average the sixth-fewest points in the paint per game.

The Bulls are excelling at the right time, producing above their season averages in several categories. Coby White, whose point prop is set at 20.5, is a key player to watch. He erupted for 42 points on Wednesday and is averaging 26.0 PPG over his last five -- compared to his season average of 19.1 PPG. His rise has been vital with Zach LaVine (19.5 PPG) present for only 25 games this season due to injuries.

In four head-to-head matchups this season, the series is split at 2-2. However, Chicago had their way ATS, going 3-1. The Bulls also won the rebounding battle in three of four matchups, which should play a big factor with both squads playing among the three slowest paces in the Association.

The winner of each clash had the most points in the paint in all four games. Considering Chicago's recent success around the rim, I'm taking the road underdog to get the job done. Plus, the injuries to Miami's Butler and Rozier are calls for concern.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.