Heat finish NBA betting trip at Chicago

By: Brad Young | Friday, January 14, 2011
Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose and the Bulls may not face LeBron James on Saturday.

Division leaders collide Saturday night when Miami (30-11 straight up, 20-21 against the spread) concludes a five-game road trip at Chicago (25-13 SU, 21-16-1 ATS).

The Heat are currently atop the Southeast Division standings, but enter this contest mired in a two-game SU and ATS losing streak.  If the season ended today, these teams would be the second and third seeds in the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls are pulling away from the pack in the Central Division, armed with a robust 17-3 SU home ledger.  Chicago is also a solid 9-3 ATS the previous 12 games at United Center.  The Bulls will be playing on back-to-back nights compliments of Friday’s road effort against Indiana.

Miami suffered its worst setback of the season with Thursday’s 28-point loss to Denver as a 1 ½-point road underdog, 130-102.  The combined 232 points soared past the 204-point closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to improve to 7-1 the previous eight outings.

LeBron James did not play in the game due to a sprained ankle, and is listed as ‘questionable’ versus the Bulls.  The Heat have now dropped back-to-back outings for the first time since losing three in a row in late November.

Miami was on the short end of rebounding (50-41) and assists (31-23).  The Heat finished the contest by shooting 46 percent (41-of-89) from the field and 44 percent (10-of-23) from 3-point land.  The blowout occurred when the defense allowed Denver to connect at a 53-percent clip (49-of-92) from the field and 48 percent (15-of-31) from behind the arc.

Chicago had strung together consecutive SU and ATS victories before Wednesday’s setback to Charlotte as a three-point road ‘chalk,’ 96-91.  The combined 187 points toppled the 185 ½-point closing total, snapping back-to-back ‘under’ outings.

The Bulls fell after shooting 47 percent (33-of-70) from the field and 36 percent (4-of-11) from behind the arc.  Power forward Carlos Boozer paced the offense with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while point guard Derrick Rose provided 17 and seven assists.

Miami is 3-1 SU and ATS the previous four meetings with Chicago, but this is the first encounter this season.  The ‘under’ is a stellar 8-2 the last 10 games in this series.

Miami center Jamaal Magloire (back) is ‘questionable’ versus the Bulls.  The Heat follow this matchup with home games against Atlanta and Toronto.  Miami is 11-4 ATS its past 15 road games, and 9-4 ATS the previous 13 outings against Central Division opponents.

Chicago center Joakim Noah remains ‘out’ of action due to an injured thumb.  The Bulls travel to Memphis after this game before embarking on a six-game homestand.  Chicago has seen the ‘under’ go 7-1 the previous eight games against Southeast Division foes.

NBA-TV will provide coverage of Saturday’s contest beginning at 5:05 p.m. PT from Chicago’s United Center.

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