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Heat vs. Bulls Expert Pick – March 18, 2023

Heat vs. Bulls Expert Pick - March 18, 2023

HEAT VS. BULLS EXPERT PICK – MARCH 18, 2023 - Greetings basketball fans. Welcome back to our weekly column where we break down a couple of matchups from the weekend’s slate of NBA games.

As a person who grew up in the Windy City, it dawned on me that I have not talked about my hometown team all that much this season. With that in mind, today’s preview features the Chicago Bulls (32-37) hosting the Miami Heat (38-33).

Without further delay, let’s look at this matchup between a pair of eastern conference teams looking to solidify their respective positions in the playoff race. 

The Odds







(38-33 SU)






(32-37 SU)






When: Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 8:00 pm ET

Where: United Center, Chicago, IL


Public Bets: Heat, 60%

Public Money: Bulls, 56%

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 18th, 2023

Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls Season Trends

Miami’s season has been marred by inconsistent play. This is a big reason why this squad is one of the four teams that are currently in the play-in scenario.

From an offensive standpoint, Miami doesn’t make the grade, and that’s putting it nicely. The team is ranked dead last in scoring offense and 25th in offensive efficiency.

To provide some historical context, Miami ranked 17th and 10th, respectively in these categories last season. But at the other end of the court, the Heat ranks 5th in points allowed and 7th in defensive efficiency.

If the saying is true about defense winning championships, this team gets the job done at that end of the court. In Miami’s recent outing, it defeated the Memphis Grizzlies by a 138-119 margin on Wednesday night for its sixth win in 10 games. 

Bam Adebayo led the way with 26 points to go along with eight rebounds. Tyler Herro added 24 points, and Jimmy Butler chipped in with 23 points. The victory marked just the sixth time Miami had won a game by more than 10 points this season, and they will be looking to add another victory against a Bulls team that is hoping to get back to the playoffs for a second straight season. 

Meanwhile, the Bulls come into this matchup on the heels of a 139-131 double-overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. 

DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 49 points on 15-for-25 shooting from the floor. He also hauled in 14 rebounds, handed out four assists, and recorded three steals. Zach LaVine had a solid outing as well, scoring 39 points to go along with four rebounds and five assists. Nikola Vucevic also contributed a double-double that included 21 points and 11 rebounds. Like the Heat, the Bulls’ season has been plagued with inconsistent play. With that in mind, they will be looking to notch their third win in four games.

Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls Head-To-Head & Betting Trends

The Heat have dominated the Bulls over the last two seasons. In 2020-21, the Heat took two of the three regular-season meetings and swept the four-game set last season.

However, the trend has changed this season.

Chicago won both games this season against Miami. This includes a 116-108 victory on opening night and a 113-103 win on Dec. 20. And as these teams lock horns once again, the Bulls hope to sweep the season series to keep their postseason hopes alive.

The Picks


The projected scoring total for this contest is 217. These two teams have a combined scoring average of 221.3 points per contest. Additionally, the average scoring total for games played at the UC this year is 226.8. Here are a few more reasons why I’m going with the OVER in this contest. 

The projected total has gone OVER in five of the Bulls’ last seven games overall and in six of the last eight games in which the Bulls are facing an opponent with an overall winning record. Miami is 38-33.

The OVER has a perfect 4-0 mark for Miami following a game in which they scored more than 100 points. In their previous outing, Miami put up 138 points on Memphis. 

The OVER holds a 6-1 record in the Heat’s last seven games following a win of more than 10 points. Miami won its previous game by 19 points. 

The OVER is 4-1 in Miami’s last five games in which their opponent allowed more than 100 points in their previous outing. The Bulls gave up 131 points against the Timberwolves. The OVER also holds a 6-2 mark in the last eight games and a 4-1 mark in the last five games at the United Center between these two ball clubs. 

The Spread

Miami opened as a consensus three-point favorite. That line has moved to 3.5. 

Miami is 11-28-2 against the spread in the last 41 games following an outright win and 5-14 ATS in its last 19 games overall. 

Miami is 6-17 ATS in the last 23 instances in which they have faced teams that had scored more than 100 points in their previous. The Bulls scored 139 points in their double-overtime win against Minnesota on Friday night. 

In its last 29 games, Miami is 7-21-1 ATS against teams with an overall losing record. The Bulls are five games below .500 (32-37). 

Chicago is 10-2-1 ATS following games in which they’ve scored more than 125 points. They accomplished this feat on Friday night against the Timberwolves. 

The Bulls are 41-20-1 ATS in their last 62 contests against teams with a losing road record. Miami is 14-20 on the road this season. Given these trends, I’m going with the Bulls to cover the +3.5-point spread

Player Prop Bet

My player to watch from this contest is former Bulls Jimmy Butler. He currently has -125 odds of scoring less than 23.5 and -106 odds of scoring more than 23.5 points.

True, Butler has exceeded the projected points total just twice in his previous five games against Chicago. However, in 11 games he has played against the Bulls, he’s averaged 24.5 points per contest. 

In his last 10 outings, Butler is averaging 25.9 points per contest. And he has exceeded the 23.5 points total in six of his last nine outings. For these reasons, I’d strongly suggest taking the OVER.

James's Picks

Over 217 total points

Bulls (+3.5)

PPB: Jimmy Butler OVER 23.5

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