The Chicago Bulls were really struggling, having been blown out by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night and showing the fatigue of a team that needed the All-Star break to arrive a month earlier than it actually will. The outlook was becoming increasingly dire in the Windy City but then everything changed in one night for the Bulls. Can they build off what they just did, or will Dallas be ready to knock them back? They’re an eight-point favorite on the NBA betting lines on Friday.
The Chicago Bulls Can Win Because…
There is fresh reason to trust the Bulls. This was a team in a tailspin, a team that had fallen to a 27-16 record which, in the Eastern Conference, is not that special. In the West, it’s the product of a ruthless conference, but in the East, it’s not championship caliber, not with the Atlanta Hawks having lost only eight times to this point in the season. The Bulls were desperate to find a spark after a miserable week in the NBA, and against a San Antonio Spurs team that had won three games in a row and had Kawhi Leonard back in the lineup in relatively full health, the Bulls seemed to be in trouble. However, they turned things around and scored a decisive 104-81 victory. The Bulls held San Antonio to 37-percent shooting. They limited Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan to 7-of-22 shooting from the field. They allowed the Spurs to hit only six three-point shots in 21 attempts. The Bulls, on the other hand, hit 47.4 percent of their shots. They got to the foul line a lot more often and outscored the Spurs by 11 points, 26-15, from the stripe. Derrick Rose scored 22 points in the first three quarters and then rested in the fourth. He was able to play only 27 minutes, leaving him rested for this game against Dallas. There are suddenly a lot of really good reasons to pick Chicago in this contest.
The Dallas Mavericks Can Win Because…
They are the better team than the Bulls, playing at home in Texas. Dallas has won three straight and is 7-3 in its last 10 games. The Mavericks have outpaced the Bulls, who are still 4-6 in their last 10 despite the big win over San Antonio. Dallas is a team that has steadily been playing well, whereas the Bulls are a team that has played one really good game but has yet to show that it can stay at a high level for an extended period of time. Derrick Rose seems to have a lot of energy in one game but then very little energy the next. He is still not the same player he was before his series of injuries. This is a limitation on the Bulls and what they’re able to do.
Dallas has all the pieces of a championship team, too. Rajon Rondo gives this team such stability on offense, a distributor to go along with playmakers such as Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis. Dallas is averaging 108.1 points per game on offense, second only to Golden State in the whole NBA. The Bulls allow an average of 102.2 points per game, which is not up to Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau’s standards. Dallas should outscore Chicago here.
The Bulls were awesome against the Spurs but can that translate into yet another big game on Friday? Dallas is a more consistent team right now. Take the Mavericks with your NBA picks tonight.
Free Pick: Bet Dallas