This is the second game of a duplex spot for the Heat in Chicago against the Bulls and as identities for teams become more solid, there is still some room to take advantage of the markets not leaning into those identities enough. The case for both of these teams relates to scoring starting slow and one team attempting to get out of their way out of the blocks.
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Heat vs. Bulls Betting Odds
*lines accurate at the time of publication
Heat vs. Bulls Best Bets
Heat-Bulls u106 (-110, DraftKings)
Both teams in this game are on the lower-scoring side but that is even more evident in the first half. The Heat games have gone under the first half total in 12 of 13 games this season and by an average of 4.4 points and the Bulls have gone under in nine of 14 by 2.1 points.
Both teams play are bottom six in pace in the first half and the pace, along with scoring, ticks up in the second half. Given the total of 208.5, the market is expecting the opposite of what has been the case for these teams to happen. In the last five games, Heat games are averaging 105 points and Bulls game a miniscule 93.4. In the first game of this duplex set, the first half total was 90, so there is plenty of room for the poor shooting of the Bulls to rebound and still go under.
Risk: 1.1 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit.
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Heat 1st Quarter -0.5 (-106, FanDuel)
Part of the struggles for the Bulls have been early in games, where their starters do not stack up against the best lineups other teams can provide. With Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic on the floor this season, the Bulls have a -15.9 net rating. In the last two weeks, Chicago has the worst first quarter net rating in the NBA, and the Heat are up at eighth. Over the course of the season, the Heat have been 5.8 points better in the first.
In the first game of the duplex set, the Heat won the first quarter by 12 but the Bulls shot unsustainably low at 25%. The teams are as opposite as it gets with the Heat always knowing who they are and playing as such, while the Bulls look to figure that out on a nightly basis. That never shows more than early in a game.
The Heat are a bad matchup for the Bulls when Miami has the ball because they are comfortable going deep into possessions and maintain movement off the ball. The Bulls are a rare team that is not good defensively but still forces longer possessions. The movement matters because Chicago can get lost and lose defensive integrity, especially with the starting unit, when they are in rotation. That allows late possession advantages and points for the opponent.
Considering how both teams tend to play and the advantages for the Heat in this matchup, there is value in this number.
Risk 1.06 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.