The Chicago Bulls are one victory away from becoming the first team to reach the second of the playoffs and they can accomplish that feat with a victory tonight over the Pacers in Game 4 of their opening round playoff series.

Luol DengChicago opened as –a 5 point favorite on the NBA odds boards with the total at 188. Game time is set for 2:30 PM ET from the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and will be televised nationally on TNT.

The Bulls haven't won a game by more than six points in this series, but Chicago has found ways to close out Indiana in the waning moments. The key for the Bulls now is to get this series out of the way as soon as possible while watching Atlanta and Orlando beat each other up in the 4/5 series which the Hawks lead 2 games to 1.

Expectations are sky high in Chicago where the Bulls won a league-high 62 games to secure homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs. Their first round in the NBA Playoffs was supposed to be little more than a ‘tune up’ on the way to the NBA title but it’s proved to be tougher than expected.

Cha Ching Chicago

The Chicago Bulls finally managed a cover in Game 3, that is if you got them at -3 ½. If you waited too long to throw your money down you may have gotten them at 4 or 4 ½ in which case a push was your best case scenario. The Pacers have held their own by leading in the fourth quarter in all three games, but they’re facing a nearly impossible hole from which to climb out of and moral victories don’t help when you’re in this spot.

Since 2004, 23 teams have been stuck in a 3-0 deficit with those teams going 6-17 SU and 5-16-2 ATS in Game 4's. The Celtics lost a pair of Game 4’s last season to Miami and Orlando but things turned out okay for them as they advanced to the NBA finals.

Total package

Derrick RoseFollowing a high-scoring Game 1 (104-99), the 'under' has cashed in the last two games. The Game 2 total was raised to 193 after a 188 total in the series opener, but the defense stepped up with a 96-90 Bulls' win in the second game. The total dropped 4 ½ points from Game 2 to Game 3 and Saturday's number is hovering around 188.

Derrick Rose averaged 37.5 points in the first two games of the series, but he was held to 23 points on 4-for-18 shooting in Game 3. However he still was clutch down the stretch closing out the Pacers, this time with a layup that gave the Bulls the lead for good.

Kyle Korver who assisted on the Rose layup has come up clutch in the series making seven of eight 3-pointers in the series and scoring 10 points in the final 12 minutes of Game 3.

Once again the Indiana Pacers had its chances. The Pacers led by five points with 9:30 left, but a 10-0 run by the Bulls turned the game around. While Chicago has been strong in the fourth quarter throughout the series, the Pacers have fallen apart at winning time making just 8 of 23 shots and shooting 38% in the fourth quarter of Game 3.

First Round Betting Trends

If you’ve been making square plays on the money line during the first round, then go ahead and pat yourself on the back. The Home teams are 15-7 SU and favorites are 18-4 SU. Underdogs are 14-8 ATS while the ‘under’ is slightly ahead of the ‘over’ at 12-10.

The Bulls have won nine straight but is just 4-5 ATS. Seven of the games have gone ‘under’ the total, a testament to the ratcheting up of the Chicago defense late in the season and in the first week of the playoffs.

Harvey’s Take: I smell a sweep here. Chicago has worn Indiana down and now they’re ready to deliver the knockout blow. Lay the points as Chicago moves into the Eastern Conference semi-finals.