Bet Road Team to Cover the NBA Odds in Bulls vs. Celtics

Jason Lake

Friday, November 28, 2014 1:03 PM GMT

Derrick Rose might be healthy enough to play for the Chicago Bulls. But Joakim Noah is a game-time decision, and the NBA odds are pending for Friday’s matchup at the Garden against the Boston Celtics.

Jason’s record as of Nov. 27: 11-9 ATS


If you’re a Chicago Bulls fan, or even if you simply appreciate good basketball, it must be frustrating to see Derrick Rose miss so many games already. We feel your pain; it’s difficult to tell from game to game whether or not Rose will play, and the NBA odds for Chicago are constantly up in the air. So it is for Friday’s matinee (1:00 p.m. ET) against the Boston Celtics. Rose is optimistic he’ll be ready to go, but you can’t put any stock in these things anymore.

Rose isn’t the only question mark for Friday’s game at the Garden. Joakim Noah is considered a game-time decision with water on the knee, as well as an eye injury. And if that weren’t enough, Taj Gibson (ankle) is considered day-to-day, but could miss an extended period of time – or not. We’ll sort out the different possibilities and help you figure out which team to put in your NBA picks before tip-off.


The Rose Plays
By the way, in case you haven’t been following our NFL picks, we’ve decided to pull the plug on our “Five Stars” system for determining bet sizes using the Kelly criterion. The NBA makes it even more difficult to present our basketball picks in a timely manner. But we encourage you to keep thinking in terms of profit margin when you bet on the NBA. The bigger you think the margin is, the more you should bet, up to a certain point – we suggest no more than 10 percent of your bankroll at any one time, and that’s only for five-star deadbolt locks of the millennium. Something closer to one percent is good for most games.

So let’s consider the possible scenarios for the Chicago Bulls. From what the newswires are telling us, the most likely situation is that Rose plays, but Noah and Gibson do not. This would leave the Bulls with a big hole in the frontcourt. Noah (plus-3.1 DBPM) is the best defender on the team right now, with Gibson (plus-1.0 DBPM) providing solid relief off the bench. Without them, Nikola Mirotic (plus-0.3 DBPM) is next in line for big minutes, and he’s yet to show much spark at either end of the floor.

If the Bulls (9-6 SU, 5-10 ATS) had their choice, it might be to have Noah and Gibson play and Rose sit out. This scenario has become de rigueur in Chicago the past few years. Aaron Brooks (1.0 OBPM) has played quite well as a scorer, putting up 19.2 points every 36 minutes and hitting 45.8 percent of his trey attempts. However, Kirk Hinrich (minus-3.2 BPM) is playing the worst basketball of his career and might finally be out of gas at age 34. A healthy dose of Rose (plus-1.1 BPM) would give Chicago its best chance of winning Friday’s contest.


Smart Shopping
Life could be worse for the Bulls – they could be rebuilding. The Celtics (4-8 SU, 5-7 ATS) are in Year Two under head coach Brad Stevens, who has done a commendable job with the tools he’s been given. Unfortunately, Boston’s reward for tanking the 2013-14 season, blue-chipper Marcus Smart, has missed the last seven games with an ankle injury and isn’t expected to play on Friday.

We’ve seen some positives with the C’s this year. Kelly Olynyk (plus-2.0 BPM) is coming along nicely in his sophomore season. Jared Sullinger (plus-3.5 BPM) has continued his strong play from last year. And Rajon Rondo (plus-1.2 BPM) has been healthy enough to play 11 of 12 games. Let’s not overlook what Tyler Zeller (plus-2.7 BPM) has been able to do off the bench, either. This is going to be a good team eventually. Probably not as soon as Friday, though.

Free NBA Pick: Take the Bulls