The top two teams in the Eastern Conference clash when the Chicago Bulls battle the Miami Heat in South Beach on Monday.
The Heat bring a three-game winning streak into this weighted conference contest and have suffered just one loss in their previous nine outings. The Bulls back into this game after having their six-game hot streak snapped last time out and play their first road contest since February 9.
Check out our free NBA betting picks and predictions for Chicago at Miami on February 28.
Bulls vs Heat odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Miami opened as a 3.5-point home favorite and that spread jumped to -4 at some books before buyback on the Bulls pushed it back to -3.5. As for the total, the Over/Under hit the board at 224.5 points and has risen as high as 225.5 as of Monday morning.
Bulls vs Heat predictions
- Prediction: Heat -3.5 (-110)
- Prediction: Under 225 (-110)
- Best bet: DeRozan Under 29.5 points (+110)
Predictions made on 2/28/2022 at 10:40 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Bulls vs Heat game info
• Location: FTX Arena, Miami, FL
• Date: Monday, February 28, 2022
• Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBCS-Chicago
Bulls vs Heat betting preview
Bulls: Nikola Vucevic C (Questionable), Lonzo Ball G (Out), Alex Caruso G (Out), Patrick Williams F (Out)
Heat: Caleb Martin G (Questionable), Kyle Lowry G (Out), Markieff Morris F (Out), Victor Oladipo G (Out)
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Heat are 8-1 against the spread in their last nine games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600. Find more NBA betting trends for Bulls vs. Heat.
Bulls vs Heat picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
The Heat get to prove their top spot in the Eastern Conference is legit with this upcoming slate of games, taking on Chicago, Milwaukee (road), Brooklyn (road), and Philadelphia in the next four outings. That makes this homestand with the Bulls all the more important.
Miami has been superb inside FTX Arena, with a 20-7 SU mark (14-13 ATS) built on the back of its defense. Those efforts will be targeted at Chicago superstar DeMar DeRozan, who has been scorching the scoreboard this month, averaging 35.5 points on 56% shooting over 12 games in February.
Miami did manage to take the first two meetings with Chicago earlier in the season, limiting foes to point totals of 92 and 104 — although the most recent matchup (118-92 home win on Dec. 11) came without DeRozan in the lineup. That said, the Heat have the defensive stalwarts to slow down the Bulls attack, ranking out among the top teams against isolation and transition.
DeRozan is coming off a “bad” night in Saturday's loss to Memphis, scoring 31 points (his lowest output since Feb. 2) on just 10-of-29 shooting. He opened the game ice cold and couldn’t crack Memphis’ man-to-man matchups (Heat and Grizzlies rank No. 3 and No. 4 in scoring frequency allowed to isolation sets), letting that physical defense get the best of him and eventually was ejected for arguing with officials.
Miami knows a thing or two about frustrating foes, forcing 15.5 turnovers per game and allowing just 104.8 points per homestand. The Heat will throw Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo at DeRozan, as well as forward P.J. Tucker, so the rest of the Bulls will need to kick-start this offense. Chicago is dependent on isolation situations creating scoring chances, as it sits among the bottom of the league in assists per field goal made. If Miami can lock DeRozan down — or at least slow him down — it will throw a wrench in the Bulls playbook.
Prediction: Heat -3.5 (-110)
The Heat will be without point guard Kyle Lowry for tonight’s tilt due to personal reasons. That leaves Miami to likely start Gabe Vincent, who replaced Lowry in the lineup when he missed time in January.
Miami’s offense runs one of the more methodical tempos in the NBA, boasting the third-slowest pace rating (96.34) in the league. When Lowry missed nine games between January 17 and February 1, that rating dipped to 94.87, and the team scored below its season average in six of those outings (in regulation).
This game could hold a lot of swing when it comes to seeding and home court in the postseason, so bettors should expect a playoff atmosphere and an uptick in intensity. Miami will be looking to control the tempo and clog up the interior on defense, taking away anything easy inside and dampening the mid-range attack, which is DeRozan’s bread and butter.
On the season, the Heat are allowing foes to fire at just 38.4% from mid-range where Chicago attempts almost 19 shots per contest (most in the NBA). The Bulls' offensive efficiency does slip when the team hits the highway, putting up more than five fewer points per road game.
Chicago has stayed below the total in four of its last five, including staying well Under in its last two outings with totals of 238 and 240.5 points
Prediction: Under 225 (-110)
Over their previous nine games, the Heat have done a great job cracking down on their opponents’ top stars. Only one player in that span has scored 30 or more points against Miami, and that was Knicks forward R.J. Barrett, who dropped 46 points on February 25.
DeRozan has a point total of 29.5 tonight, which actually opened 30.5 before slimming with early play on the Under.
His current point production is impressive but has been helped along by a home-friendly slate, which took the Bulls out of the Windy City only once since DeMar hung 45 points on Philadelphia back on Feb. 6.
DeRozan not only faces a Miami lineup that can defend him one-on-one — or at least better than most — but the Heat will be playing a plodding pace, limiting the Bulls' touches while also slamming the brakes on their transition attack.
You hate to go against the hot hand but if the Heat are going to make a statement at home, it starts with slowing DeRozan down.
Pick: DeMar DeRozan Under 29.5 points (+110)
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