Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat Play-In Prediction, NBA Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated Apr 18, 2024

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat

On Friday night the East Play-In bracket concludes with the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat vying for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

April 19, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
American Airlines Arena
Pointspread +2.5 -110
Moneyline +115
Over / Under o +207.5
Pointspread -2.5 -110
Moneyline -140
Over / Under u +207.5

The Boston Celtics await the winner of this Bulls vs. Heat contest that will be held in Miami. Chicago survived its 10 vs. 9 play-in contest versus the Atlanta Hawks, whereas the Heat fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in their 8 vs 7 bout. Miami gets home court since they had the superior regular season record.

Interestingly, the NBA odds have tenuous faith in the Miami Heat, pegging them as slight -1.5 favourites. More on that below.

Bulls vs. Heat NBA Betting Odds

The biggest news concerning this game is Jimmy Butler’s MCL, which has him out of commission for several weeks, assuming the Heat are even still playing basketball by then. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss to the 76ers. The Heat played 22 matches without Butler this season, posting a 13-9 tally, and none were against the Bulls.

In a curious bit of scheduling, all four games between these sides this season happened in November and December, so although they’ve clashed many times, it all happened many months ago. The season series finished at two games apiece, with each club winning once on the other’s home court.

Incidentally, both the Bulls and Heat find themselves in the very same situation as one year ago. The Illinois-based franchise had a 10 vs 9 Play-In game versus the Raptors and won, which led them to Miami to play the Heat, who had lost their 8 vs 7 match against the Hawks. That game went to the Heat, and the rest is history, as Erik Spoelstra’s made it to the NBA Finals.

Chicago Bulls

We must admit to having not taken Wednesday’s Play-In Game between the Hawks and Bulls as seriously as we should have, injecting poorly veiled sarcasm about how Atlanta even made it this far.

At least the Chicago Bulls took care of business in such a way that our lack of faith in Atlanta no longer seems misplaced. The 131-116 victory had the home fans rocking, especially Coby White, who erupted for a career-high 42 points (15-for-21 shooting!), not to mention a couple of steals. Many of those were earned with silky slick moves in the paint between defenders to get to the basket. Chicago shot a preposterous 56.8 per cent from the field and a solid 42.3 from beyond the perimeter. Not a lot of teams hit 70 points in the paint, but Chicago got there with 72 in total. DeMar DeRozan and Vucevic tallied 22 and 24 points, respectively, with Vucevic adding 12 boards.

Now the question is can the Bulls carry that momentum southward for the next most important match of the season?

Miami Heat

It’s wild how quickly things can change in the NBA. For one half of a basketball contest, the Miami Heat looked exactly like the sort of postseason beasts many praise them for. Tussling against Joel Embiid and the 76ers, Miami stormed out to a 12-point halftime lead. Jimmy Butler who had four steals, Tyler Herro was firing on all cylinders, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. was a force off the bench.

Then the winds changed direction midway through the third quarter. Nicolas Batum went off (6-for-10 from long range), and Embiid, wobbling and hobbling, made the sort of shots that earned him the MVP award last season. To add injury to insult, Butler went down and the Heat were never the same, losing 105-104. Bam Adebayo, despite 12 boards, was a little quiet on Wednesday (10 points with a plus-minus of minus-8).

Now the team has to regroup for another doe-or-die game but without its leader. Granted, the Chicago Bulls are probably not the better team generally speaking, but this is a tough situation to be in.

NBA Play-In Prediction: Who Will Win Bulls vs. Heat?

NBA Predictions