Heat to advance to playoffs with hard-fought win over Bulls

  • Go to BetOnline or Bovada for the latest odds on the Heat vs Bulls NBA Play-In Tournament matchup  
  • The winner of Friday’s contest will clinch a playoff spot as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference
  • TNT will broadcast the game from Kaseya Center in Miami on April 14 at 7:00pm ET 

After overcoming an 18-point deficit to the Raptors, Chicago will take on Miami on Friday with a spot in the NBA Playoffs on the line. The No. 7 seed Heat fell to the No. 8 seed Hawks in their Play-In matchup on Tuesday, forcing them into an elimination game with the Bulls.

Who will advance to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the postseason? Before we look at the latest odds, check out the latest 2023 NBA Playoff Betting Odds and our guide to betting on NBA basketball.

Heat vs Bulls

BetOnline ReviewSpreadMoney LineTotal Points
Chicago Bulls+5.5 (-110)+180Ov 208.5 (-110)
Miami Heat-5.5 (-110)-210Un 208.5 (-110)

Chicago comes back

Zach Lavine scored 39 points in the Bulls’ 109-105 comeback victory and DeMar DeRozan added 23 points and seven rebounds against his old club. DeRozan’s young daughter went viral on Wednesday while screaming at the Raptors during all 36 of their free-throw attempts. However, despite Toronto going a season-low 18-of-36 from the line, Chicago’s lucky charm reportedly won’t be in Miami for Friday night’s contest.

The Bulls went 3-0 versus the Heat during the regular season. After facing his former team, DeRozan will now square off against longtime teammate Kyle Lowry. The veteran point guard registed a season-high 33 points in Tuesday’s loss to Atlanta.

Will Miami rebound?

Can the Heat avoid becoming the first team ever to go 0-2 at home in a play-in tournament? To do so, they “got to play the exact opposite,” according to Jimmy Butler. While the star guard missed Thursday’s practice for personal reasons, he will be in the lineup on Friday to face the franchise that drafted him 30th overall in 2011.

Butler was ice cold in Tuesday’s defeat, scoring 21 points on 6-of-19 shooting. Miami was also outrebounded by the Hawks 63-39, so they’ll need a way better effort all around to sneak into the postseason.

Miami HeatTo Win Eastern Conference
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Chicago BullsTo Win Eastern Conference
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Miami vs Chicago

Miami opened as a a 5.5-point favorite despite being winless against the Bulls this year. During the regular season, the Heat were just 11-24-2 against the spread as a home favorite. In fact, they had the second-worst ATS home record in the NBA before losing to the Hawks on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Chicago is 16-12-1 ATS as a road underdog following their win in Canada on Wednesday.

The game total is set at a super-low 208.5 points. That’s because Billy Donovan’s club had the best scoring defense in the league after the All-Star break while the Heat ran the NBA’s lowest scoring offense in 2023.

Best Bet

After finishing atop the Eastern Conference in 2022 and falling just one win short of advancing to the NBA Finals, Miami has struggled to find consistency all season.

However, “Playoff Jimmy” always saves his best for the big games. While we like the Bulls to cover the spread, bank on the Heat to win and advance to play Milwaukee in the first round.

Chicago BullsTo Cover
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Steve Starr

Steve is the quintessential American sports enthusiast. He has mastered the art of Sundays, devoting them to football, and barbecue parties. He proudly wears the hats of a good father, husband and a great dog owner. Aside from his decades of contributing to different top-tier sports publications, Steve has also found his niche on Twitter, where he publishes funny and relatable sports-related insights. When he's not busy tweeting, Steve loves to watch each game unfold live. He possesses an innate talent for finding humor in the sports world, appreciating both the thrilling moments and the comedic mishaps that make each event unique.