Bulls vs. Pacers NBA Picks: Bet Indiana (-2.5) & 'Under' 199

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, November 26, 2015 10:58 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 10:58 PM GMT

The Bulls look to end a four-game road trip with a 3-1 record on Friday night at Indiana (8 p.m. ET), while the Pacers try for a season-high fourth consecutive victory. They are 2.5-point favorites on BetOnline's NBA odds with a total of 200.5.

Bulls Ready To Return Home
The Bulls (9-4) have to be thrilled with their 2-1 start to this road trip as they played the first two games without an injured Derrick Rose and the one loss was fairly competitive at Golden State, which obviously is in a class by itself right now.

Chicago is off a 93-88 win in Portland, a place the Bulls almost never win, on Wednesday. Rose returned from his sprained ankle and had 17 points, six assists and four rebounds in 35 minutes on the same court on which he tore the medial meniscus in his right knee almost two years ago to the day. Jimmy Butler led the way with 22 points, including four clutch free throws in the last 15.9 seconds, while Pau Gasol had 12 points and 14 rebounds. The Bulls shot only 38.4 percent but held the Blazers to 35.2 percent. Rose, not the best defender, helped hound Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard into 4-for-22 shooting. It was Chicago's first win in Portland since Feb. 3, 2007.

The Bulls were supposed to be a much better offensive team this season under first-year offensive-minded coach Fred Hoiberg and take a step back on defense. But Chicago is 21st in scoring defense (99.9 ppg) and No. 2 in the NBA in field-goal percentage defense (40.9 percent). The Bulls haven't given up 100 points in any of their past seven wins. In three of their four losses on the year, they have allowed at least 102 points.

Chicago is 5-8 against the spread on NBA odds and 3-9-1 'over/under.'

 

Pacers Suddenly 3-Point Juggernauts
Indiana (9-5) has failed twice previously to win four straight games this season. On Nov. 8, the Pacers brought a three-game winning streak into Cleveland but lost (understandably) 101-97. And on Nov. 16, they were beaten 96-95 in Chicago (see below).

The Pacers are off a 123-106 win at Washington on Tuesday. Paul George is easily your NBA Comeback Player of the Year favorite as he had a season-high 40 points. The Pacers made a franchise-record 19 3-pointers, seven by George. C.J. Miles added 32 points (8-for-9 from long range), his most as a Pacer. George and Miles became the fifth pair of teammates in league history to both make seven 3-pointers in a game. Indiana was 19-for-26 from long range and that 73.1 percent was the best shooting percentage of any NBA team ever with at least 25 attempts. It was the first time this season that the Pacers made more than half of their 3-point attempts. The Pacers made 34 percent of their 3-pointers in the first seven games of the season. Since, they’ve made 48 percent. Indiana has scored 123 points in back-to-back games, the first time the franchise has reached that mark consecutively since the 1992-93 season.

It's the 10th game in a row in which George has scored 20 or more points; he's averaging 25.9 on the season. That's the second-highest points per game for a Pacers player 14 games into the season, behind only by Adrian Dantley's 26.6 in the 1977-78 season. It was second time in George's career he reached 40. His career high is 43 against Portland on Dec. 2, 2013. More good news for the Pacers off that game was starting point guard George Hill scored 14 points in 32 minutes in his return after missing three games with an upper respiratory infection.

Indiana is 10-4 ATS on NBA picks and 7-7 O/U.

 

Last Meeting
This is the second of four meetings this season between Central Division rivals. On Nov. 16 in Chicago, the Bulls were 6.5-point favorites at sportsbooks (total of 197) and won 96-95. George had a chance to win that game at the end but his fadeaway shot was partially blocked by the Bulls' Butler.  Rose had one of his better games this season, hitting 9-for-18 for 23 points to go with six assists but left in the fourth quarter with that sprained ankle. Butler was the only other Bulls starter in double-figure points with 17. Chicago shot only 40.7 percent. Indiana, which hit only 40.2 percent, was led by George's  26 points. Monta Ellis added 20. The Pacers' Hill was out with an illness. So was top reserve guard Rodney Stuckey (sprained ankle) and he's back now.

NBA Picks: Pacers, who have won five of the past six regular-season meetings at home, and 'under' at The Greek. The Bulls are 1-6 ATS in their past seven after a win. Indiana is 7-0 ATS in its past seven vs. teams with a winning record. Indiana is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings at home. The 'under' is 4-0 in the past four in the series. 

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