Bulls vs. 76ers NBA Picks: Teams Looking to Bounce Back in Philly

David Lawrence

Monday, November 9, 2015 12:02 PM GMT

The Chicago Bulls & Philadelphia 76ers do not face the same challenges, but both teams are coming off very dispiriting losses on Saturday.  Who will be our NBA pick today?

Momentum
The Bulls lost at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime last Saturday. That was bad enough. What was worse is that this team was outscored 9-0 in the extra period. Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg came to the Windy City intent on changing the way the Bulls played offense. Chicago was a dull and drab offensive team, and Hoiberg was the man summoned to the Bulls to make the organization completely different from how Tom Thibodeau shaped it. Whereas Thibodeau was a defensive coach, Hoiberg was an offensive coach, something which became apparent during his time at Iowa State in the college ranks. Hoiberg’s college teams ran the court freely and shot from the outside, fast breaking at every opportunity. The Bulls are not like that, as a lot of people who follow the team can’t really make out the difference between this group and the Thibodeau years. It is early, and people know it will take time for Hoiberg to feel comfortable in Chicago, but the lack of offensive punch is still very noticeable for this team in the early part of the regular season. Concerns could grow if the team remains stagnant for another month and doesn’t settle into a top place in the East.

The Sixers also lost at home on Saturday, and they also lost to a team that rarely wins on the road, the Orlando Magic. The first and foremost failure for the Sixers, beyond failing to win, is that they did not score 100 points. While big man Jahlil Okafor is showing promise as a low-post scorer, the Sixers’ wings and perimeter players are underdeveloped and underrepresented on the roster. This is a weakness, and everyone knew it was going to be a weakness within the Sixers’ intentional plan to accumulate picks and stock up on big men. The backcourt has been neglected. How will this be fixed? There’s no immediate fix other than reshaping the roster through transactions, creating a kind of balance which doesn’t currently exist.

 

Matchup
With this matchup, it’s going to be fascinating to see the bigs duel. Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson of the Bulls, all savvy veterans, will clash with Nerlens Noel and Okafor and the other trees the Sixers have on their roster. Philadelphia needs to win these interior matchups, not merely draw even with them, because its guards are inferior to Derrick Rose and the other perimeter players Hoiberg can put on the court.

 

What’s The Pick?
The Bulls do need to make an immediate correction to their season, which needs to be a lot sharper if it’s going to keep pace with the likes of Cleveland and Atlanta and Washington in the Eastern Conference. They started as an eight-point favorite on the NBA odds but are now 7.5-point favorites. The betting public can see Chicago’s lack of offense for what it is. Ultimately, Chicago should win, but expect Philadelphia to put up a good fight and cover for your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: 76ers +7.5 at Bovada

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