NBA Playoffs: Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat Game 1

Game 1: Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat Mon. May 6, 2013 7 p.m. ET

The second round of the NBA playoffs will get underway for the defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Monday night with LeBron James and company going head-to-head with the Chicago Bulls in Game 1.

After making easy work of the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round by pulling off the four-game sweep, the Heat have been as advertised during the postseason and remain the favorites to win it all in Las Vegas odds. Heading into the second round, Miami will be faced with a much tougher challenge going up against the Chicago Bulls.

There’s no question the Heat are on a roll with LeBron James coming off winning his fourth NBA MVP award and Miami the consensus pick to win a second consecutive NBA title. Although Miami is the favorite moving forward, the Bulls pose legitimate threat to pull off the upset in the second round.

During the 2012-13 NBA regular season, the Bulls were able to snap the Heat’s 27-game winning streak. Not only did Miami fail to extend their streak when matched up against Chicago, but the New York Knicks also saw their long win streak come to an end against the Bulls.

With that being said, the Bulls have been thrived in the underdog role pulling off numerous upsets and exceeding expectations in the process. Even though Chicago has had to play without superstar Derrick Rose throughout the regular and postseason, the Bulls seems equally confident regardless and proved that fact in the first round pulling off the upset against the Brooklyn Nets in seven games.

As of right now, the spread for Game 1 remains uncertain due to Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng’s recent health problems. Deng is said to still be in hospital due to health complications while Hinrich attempts to bounce back from a bruised calf injury.

Once the spread is released, it’s safe to say taking the Heat to win regardless of the margin is a good bet.

Prediction: Miami Heat

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