Two teams that shape up very similar will square off in a veritable NBA mirror match when the Miami Heat visit the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
Both teams got off to blazing starts this season, but have cooled off a bit over their past ten games. With both close to full health and looking to regain some momentum, expect a tight matchup.
We break down the head-to-head and have your best betting angles with our NBA picks and predictions for Heat vs. Bulls on November 27.
Heat vs Bulls odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Miami opened at a 1 or 1.5-point favorite, with all books offering -1.5 as of Saturday morning. The total opened anywhere between 206.5 and 213, and can be had between 213.5 and 214.5.
Heat vs Bulls predictions
- Prediction: Chicago +1.5 (-110)
- Prediction: Under 214 (-110)
- Best bet: Lowry Under 13.5 points (-120)
Predictions made on 11/27/2021 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Heat vs Bulls game info
• Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
• Date: Saturday, November 27, 2021
• Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
• TV: BSSUN, NBCS-CHI, SN360
Heat vs Bulls betting preview
Heat: Markieff Morris PF (Out), Victor Oladipo SG (Out).
Bulls: Patrick Williams PF (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Under is 6-1 in Bulls' last seven games as a home underdog. Find more NBA betting trends for Heat vs. Bulls.
Heat vs Bulls 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.
This should be a very close game, as little separates these teams on paper: The Heat are 12-7 SU and ATS, the Bulls are 13-7 SU and ATS. The Heat are fourth in the NBA in net rating, the Bulls are sixth. The Heat score 108.8 ppg, the Bulls score 108.2.
The books are spreading Miami -1.5, which seems reasonable at a glance, but may not be giving Chicago enough respect. First off, the Bulls are at home, in front of an invigorated United Center crowd cheering on a relevant team for the first time in years. They're 6-3 both SU and ATS at home this season, while Miami's road-heavy schedule has them at 6-6, also both SU and ATS.
Miami's ethos on defense is simple: it forces you to win from distance. Heat opponents take an absurd 48 percent of their shots from beyond the arc — unable to beat bulldogs Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler, and unwilling to test uber-disruptor Bam Adebayo in the paint. Unfortunately for them, the Bulls are the NBA's seventh-best team from long range. Zach LaVine's a human flamethrower, Lonzo Ball is sixth in the league in 3-point percentage, and even DeMar DeRozan is producing career-best numbers from long range. To boot, the Bulls have one of the NBA's best low-post scorers in Nikola Vucevic, who will be unafraid to challenge Adebayo and bang on the glass, or even step out for three himself.
The Heat, conversely, have begun regressing to the mean after an unsustainably hot start from beyond the arc. They're currently a league-average team shooting the three, a realistic season-long ballpark. Their halfcourt offense can stagnate at times when they're not bullying foes into mistakes and burning them in transition, forcing the NBA's sixth-most turnovers per game and scoring the fourth-most points per transition possession.
But Chicago actually bests them in both those categories (fourth and first, respectively), while themselves taking good care of the ball (eighth in turnover rate, while Miami is 22nd). The Bulls, on paper, are equipped to beat the Heat at their own game, while not enabling their foe's best attributes.
On the court, Chicago has both of this game's best scorers, and Jimmy Butler can only guard one of them. Miami's defense is tough all-around, but the Bulls have the scoring and playmaking talent to crack them in the halfcourt, even if their 3-pointers aren't falling.
1.5 points aren't much either way, but give Chicago those, along with a slight edge on paper in this matchup, and it's tough not to back Da Bulls.
Prediction: Chicago +1.5 (-110)
The NBA's huge Under trend from the beginning of the season has begun to correct itself, both with books adjusting and players adapting to the new ball and shooting foul rules. Unders were hitting at 61 percent a month into the season, which has dipped to 57 as of Saturday. But this game won't help that sink any further.
The Heat are basically the Knicks from last season: they force teams to take a ton of 3-pointers and play slower than pre-COVID lines at the DMV. Between Miami's 25th-ranked pace and fourth-ranked defensive rating, it makes sense that they allow the NBA's second-fewest points per game (102.4). Chicago, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, isn't far behind in seventh at 103.8.
The Bulls shouldn't be coughing up the frequent turnovers and long rebounds that allow Miami to get out in transition and thrive, which will slow both pace and scoring. The Heat will have to work in the halfcourt for their offense, and are thus likely to have to lock in on defense themselves and turn this game into more of a chess match than a shootout.
And Miami's a tough out defensively for any opponent. While Chicago has lots of dangerous weapons on offense, it won't be a cakewalk to the bucket.
The Heat are 0-5-1 against this total in their last six games, and are one of the best teams in the league at controlling a deliberate tempo. With Chicago playing a neutral pace while overachieving defensively, back the Under here.
Prediction: Under 214 (-110)
While Kyle Lowry inarguably brings a ton of playmaking, defensive, and intangible pluses to a team, he hasn't been less of a factor scoring-wise in a decade. Lowry's averaging 11.9 points on .500 eFG%, and over his last five games has mustered just 9.6 ppg, clearing tonight's total of 13.5 only once.
Obviously, the current trend represents some bad variance, but Lowry's generally been less of a primary scorer than in Toronto's system, on a slow-paced, defense-first team.
Tonight's matchup profiles particularly poorly for a bounce-back scoring game for Lowry, as the Bulls field a great defensive PG unit between Lonzo Ball and human chastity belt Alex Caruso. In what's already projecting as a glacial-paced grind, the Bulls allow the NBA's second-fewest points to opposing PGs, making it unlikely that Lowry reverses the trend here.
Pick: Kyle Lowry Under 13.5 points (-120)
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