Back to Chi-Town
It was not a pretty win, and the Bulls probably aren’t happy with some of their defense, but they got the job down in Boston last night, 107-102. Tonight the NBA Odds have the Bulls as -10 ½ favorites, which is precisely double what the NBA Odds from last night in Boston. However despite last night’s score going well into the 200s, tonight’s total is right where yesterday’s was, which is around 181 points.
One thing that might be leading to the larger spread is the Bulls’ home defense, which has been very good and consistent all season. Chicago is giving up only 89.5 points per game at home this season, which ranks them second in points allowed in the NBA. They also rank 2nd in the league in field goal percentage allowed, making them one formidable defense.
With the trade of Luol Deng, they have lost a little, but definitely not a lot of wing defense, and even though they have trouble with some point guards, their team defense is what makes them good, not outstanding individual defenders. Outside of Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler, this team doesn’t have any other lockdown defenders.
In their first meeting this season in Chicago, the Bulls limited Boston to 82 points, and I doubt they will let them get north of 100 like last night. In their last ten games, the Bulls have allowed only 89.7 points per game. While I don’t think this translates into a spread bet, I do think the total is very vulnerable, especially if it raises some through the morning because of last night’s score.
The Sharp Pick
I think the under is the play, and despite the fact that the Celtics seem like a good play here at +10 ½, they could just as easily get blown out. It’s that time of year for some teams. Instead the total is looking great, especially if it’s pushed northward throughout the day. I would not be surprised to see this total go up throughout the day, so wait until it reaches optimal price before buying in on the under.
Off of the back to back, these two teams seem to score less, and it will be more of the same tonight. On no rest, these two combined to cash the under at 20-13 this season. However almost as important is the fact that the Celtics play well ATS on no rest, and it could lead to some more defense from them as well.
Boston has been pretty bad at times on defense this season, and last night was a good example. However on the second night of a back to back, the Celtics are a league leading 12-6 ATS, and it’s spreads like +10 ½ that make it that way. There is no way a team that is 4-14 SU on the second night of a back to back should be leading the NBA ATS on no rest. I think once again the books are putting out NBA Odds that do not match their actual projections for the game, and they are trying to induce over betting, and betting on the Celtics. Even though the NBA Odds for tonight’s game came out before the end of the game last night, there has been no change, and it smells funny. Don’t fall into the trap tonight, play the under after it possibly raises some throughout the morning and afternoon.
NBA Pick: UNDER 181