19 Apr

Prediction, TV channel, live stream, how to watch NBA Play-In Tournament online, odds, time

The final Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament game is set, as the Miami Heat will host the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. The winner will claim the No. 8 seed and advance to face the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, while the loser will head to the lottery.

Miami is here after blowing a 14-point lead to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the Play-In Tournament on Wednesday, and will be without star forward Jimmy Butler (knee) and key guard Terry Rozier (neck). Chicago is coming off a convincing win over the Atlanta Hawks in their first Play-In Game, and will be shorthanded as well. Defensive specialist Alex Caruso sprained his ankle against the Hawks and may join Zach LaVine and Patrick Williams among those unavailable for the Bulls.

Ahead of Friday’s showdown, here’s everything you need to know:

Heat vs. Bulls
Date: Friday, April 19 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Kaseya Center — Miami, Florida
TV channel: ESPN | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: Heat -1.5; O/U 205.5
Heat: The Heat were a few wins away from avoiding the Play-In Tournament all together. Now, they’re a few losses away from their first trip to the lottery since 2019. As if blowing a double-digit lead to the Sixers in the No. 7 vs. No. 8 game wasn’t bad enough, the Heat learned they’ll be without Jimmy Butler, who suffered a knee injury in Philadelphia, and Terry Rozier for Friday’s matchup with the Bulls. The Heat were a bottom-third offensive team this season, and now, will be without two of their primary scorers and creators. For the season, they had a plus-5.5 net rating with Butler on the court and a minus-2.0 net rating without him.

Bulls: All season, there were calls for the Bulls to blow things up and tank for a high draft pick. Suddenly, they’re one win away from an improbable trip to the playoffs. They went 36-46 this season, and with the obvious caveat that the Play-In Tournament didn’t exist until 2020, that would be the fewest wins for an Eastern Conference playoff team in an 82-game season since the Celtics earned the No. 8 seed in 2004 with the same number of victories.

Picking against the Heat at home in a one-game situation is risky, but losing Butler and Rozier feels like too much to overcome. I’ll ride with the hot hand of Coby White. Pick: Bulls +1.5

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