With a playoff spot already locked up, the Chicago Bulls will continue their march towards the top seed in the East when they host the struggling Denver Nuggets. Game time is 8:00 PM ET at the United Center in Chicago where the Bulls are favored.
NBA betting odds makers were slow to release the betting odds for this game, but the NBA lines are out, and the Bulls are listed as 8 point favorites with a total of 199.
Lets break down this matchup and decide where we have the best shot of cashing in with our NBA picks.
The Bulls (40-10 SU, 30-20 ATS)
amazingly clinched a playoff spot with a dramatic 102-101 victory over the
Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. Luol Deng’s put back of a blocked shot at
the buzzer proved to be the difference. Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 10
rebounds to lead the Bulls while Deng added 23 points and 10 boards. Earl
Watson, starting in place of Derek Rose, had 23 points.
Rose has now missed five straight games
with a groin injury but the Bulls haven’t missed a beat without him, going 4-1
SU, 3-2 ATS and 4-1 to the under. Overall Chicago is 8-2 SU and 5-5 ATS in
its last 10 games. Rose is listed as questionable bordering on doubtful for
Too much Love
Take it from Denver—there is such
a thing as getting too much Love, as in Kevin Love, who followed up
his amazing 51-point effort on Friday with 30 points and 21 rebounds in
Sunday’s 117-100 blowout of the Nuggets. Luke Ridnour had 25 points and
six assists, and Wayne Ellington added 17 points for the Timberwolves.
Kenneth Faried had 17 points and
Andrew Miller added 14. JaVale McGee had 13 points and 11 rebounds for
Denver which had won 17 of its previous 18 meetings in the series.
The Nuggets are 2-6 SU in its last eight
road games and have dropped the first two games of a seven-game road trip.
They’ve also been a money pit, going 1-6 ATS in its last seven outings and 2-8
vs. the number in its last 10 games.
P.S. Love is just the 10th player since 1985 to have a 30/20 game against
Denver, and the first since Zach Randolph did it in Dec. 2009. Love is also the
leader among active players with seven, 30/20 performances.
Defense or lack thereof has been the
Nuggets' biggest shortcoming this season. Denver is next to last in the NBA in
points allowed at 102.2 points per game and is 27th in the league in
field goal percentage (46.1). Only New Jersey allows a higher percentage from
beyond the arc than the Nuggets do (37.9).
Denver has allowed an average of 117.3
points per game over the last three games and has given up at least 100 points
in seven of its last 10 outings.
Doing the splits
The home and road statistical
comparisons slightly favor the Nuggets who are just 11-10 SU on the road but a staggering
15-6 ATS. Denver is 14-7 to the ‘over’ and is averaging 105.6 points per
game while allowing 104 ppg.
Chicago has been nearly unbeatable at
home going 20-4 SU but is just 12-12 ATS. The Bulls are 12-11-1 to the ‘under’
and are averaging 97 ppg while allowing 88.2 ppg.
Denver is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games
against the NBA Central Division but the home team is 6-1-1 in the last eight
series meetings. The ‘over’ is 9-3 in the Nuggets last 12 games against the
Harvey’s Take: Chicago has proved it can win without
its best player and second best player and…Well, you get the picture. The depth
on the Bulls is incredible and should be more than enough to beat a fading
Denver team. My free NBA pick is a small one on Chicago and a slightly bigger one on the