The Boston Celtics (14-12) play host to the Chicago Bulls (23-6) who could be with out the aid of Derrick Rose. What does this mean for bettors, and how can we use it to our advantage when making our NBA picks?

Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 pm ET at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts and will be televised on ABC. 

NBA odds are currently unavailable, but expect the Bulls to be a very slim betting favorite in this contest, provided that Rose plays. If any case that Rose is out for this game, Boston will be the favorite by a handful of points. Keep your eyes on the sportsbooks, as the lines could be released at any moment. As always, when injuries are an issue, the opening lines often hold great sports betting value for those who are able to jump on them early.

More on Rose's status

Rajon RondoThe Bulls held him out of the Charlotte game due to the fact that Charlotte is the worst team in the league. The Bulls proceeded to crush the Bobcats, winning easily 95-64. This is a franchise player and the Bulls need to be careful with him but their was a possibility that he'd play against Charlotte on Friday (and he didn't). He should have more recovery time and be ready to play against Boston on Sunday afternoon.

Slumping Celts 

Boston head coach Doc Rivers thought that the Celtics worked out all of the kinks after a poor start to the season. The Celtics were on a big winning streak until Pau Gasol swatted away a Ray Allen layup at the buzzer on Thursday night. Coach Rivers was disgusted and said that his players should be running in a gym.

The Celtics then proceeded to show little effort on Friday in a back to back situation against a team that they owned, the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors, with the help of DeMar DeRozan, disposed of the Celtics 86-74. The Celtics have beaten the Raptors in 17 of the previous 19 games.

Veteran Warrior 

With the inconsistent play of players like Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen, the Celtics have needed someone to turn to in times of urgency. Kevin Garnett has been a consistent battler all season despite getting older. This isn't the KG of Minnesota but he certainly hasn't lost a step in the last few years. Actually, this season he has managed to deliver on a day in, day out basis. 

Garnett has only scored in single digits in 4 games this year with a season low of 7 points. The three other single digit efforts were 8 points each. Garnett has brought his lunch pale to work, and despite the Celtics injuries, he's delivered all season. This is a player that plays with a lot of fire in his belly and thinks that the Celtics can win the championship despite being one of the oldest teams in the league. Along with ferocious defense, KG brings 14 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. Garnett has been efficient from the field (49%) and the free throw line (84.6%).  

In his last 5 games, Kevin Garnett has excelled, averaging 18 points, 8.8 rebounds, and has shot well over 50% with the exception of the loss to LA. Look for Garnett to have another solid game here as he goes up against a team with a lot of size. 

Backups Need to Step Up 

Luol DengWith the Chicago backcourt being in disarray lately due to the injuries of Richard Hamilton and Derrick Rose, the Bulls have had to play C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer. Watson is an outside threat looking to participate in the NBA All Star 3 point contest but he needs to fine tune his shooting as it's been off the mark lately.

Watson, who is a 45.9% shooter from 3 point range, has played poorly in the last couple of games as Rose has been sidelined. He's shot just 4 of 17 from the field and averaged 4.5 points, 4.5 assists and 3 steals in his last 2 games. The last game was never in doubt for Chicago against a cupcake team like Charlotte but even if Rose does play, they'll need an improved effort from Watson as I'm sure Rose isn't 100% healthy. 

If you see the name Ronnie Brewer as an option for your daily fantasy league team, please bypass it. Brewer brings the same size (even more) than Richard Hamilton as a shooting guard but he doesn't offer the same production. 

Granted, Brewer is only getting an average of 23.5 minutes per game in his last 2 starts and isn't a legitimate starter, but he hasn't done much to enhance his chances of cracking the starting lineup. In his last 2 games, Brewer has averaged 6 points, 2.5 assists, and 2 rebounds on 5 of 16 shooting from the field. 

The Bulls will be looking more towards the bench in Kyle Korver and John Lucas who can give them more offensive productivity. Lucas is coming back from an injury and had an efficient 11 point game against the Bobcats in his 22 minutes of play. 

Key Note: Bulls forward Luol Deng has made his 1st all-star game. Look for Deng to bring the feeling of satisfaction to the court as he was thrilled upon hearing the news. This could be a big game for Deng.  

The Final Outcome 

I'm expecting Derrick Rose to play and at this point, the Bulls are clearly the younger, more consistent, and better basketball team. From the Celtics last outing, they haven't given you any reason to believe that their going to put forth a solid effort, even at home. Take the Bulls in this game.

NBA Pick: Chicago to win