Bulls vs. Spurs NBA Picks: Back Improving Chicago To Cover +15

Jake Walker

Thursday, March 10, 2016 6:01 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 10, 2016 6:01 PM UTC

The Chicago Bulls (32-30) travel to AT&T Center to take on the San Antonio Spurs (54-10). The Spurs are favored by 15 points on the NBA odds board and the total is set at 202.

Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls have won their last two games to move to eight-place in the Eastern Conference standings, one game behind the Indiana Pacers. The Bulls are coming off a 100-90 win against the Bucks last Monday despite being without Jimmy Butler, who was dealing with knee soreness. Chicago shot 50 percent from the field and six players scored in double figures, including Pau Gasol, who had 12 points, 17 rebounds, 13 assists and five blocks and Derrick Rose, who scored 22 points. Butler is not expected to play tonight, so the Bulls need a similar effort from Gasol and Rose to have a chance against the Spurs. 

The Bulls score 101.6 points per game and shoot 43.8 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from three-point range (fourth in the league) and they pull down 47.6 rebounds per game (second in the NBA). Chicago allows 102.5 points per game and their opponents shoot 43.4 percent overall and 32.9 percent from beyond the arc and grab 46.7 rebounds per game.

Jimmy Butler leads the team with 22.4 points, Pau Gasol averages 17.0 points and team-bests with 11.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks and Derrick Rose adds 16.6 points and 4.9 assists.   


San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs have won nine of their last 10 games, including last Tuesday's impressive 116-91 road victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 29 points and seven rebounds and Kawhi Leonard scored 15 points for a Spurs team that led by as many as 26 points despite playing without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. David West stepped up with 18 points as San Antonio shot 55.3 percent and turned the ball over just nine times.

The Spurs average 104.7 points per game (seventh in the league) on 48.9 percent shooting overall (first in the NBA) and 38.5 percent shooting from three-point range (second in the league) and they pull down 44.5 rebounds per game. Defensively, San Antonio allows just 92.3 points per game (first in the league) and their opponents shoot just 43.1 percent from the floor (first in the NBA) and 32.4 percent from beyond the arc (second in the league) and grab 40.1 rebounds per game (first in the NBA). 

Kawhi Leonard leads the Spurs with 20.8 points and 1.8 steals, LaMarcus Aldridge averages 17.4 points and a team-best 8.5 rebounds and Tony Parker adds 12.3 points and a team-best 5.1 assists.


Betting Trends
The Bulls are 11-18 ATS as an underdog, 11-19 ATS in road games, 4-7 ATS in a road game where the total is between 200 and 204.5 points and 13-19 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record. 

The Spurs are 39-23 ATS as a favorite, 7-3 ATS as a home favorite of 12.5 to 15 points, 20-10 ATS in home games and 19-13 ATS after scoring 105 points or more.


Final Analysis
The Spurs are a 15-point favorite on the NBA odds board and the total has been set at 202. This will be the second meeting of the season between these two teams. The Bulls beat the Spurs 92-89 in Chicago on November 30 behind 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks from Pau Gasol. Kawhi Leonard finished with 25 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs. 

The Bulls are playing a bit better recently but the Spurs are 30-0 at home for a reason and not having Butler weakens Chicago against a San Antonio team that is very solid on both ends of the court. The Bulls have lost their last seven road games and they're just 1-9 SU and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games away from the United Center. That being said, I will ignore the stats and betting trends that favor San Antonio and take Chicago +15 with my NBA picks because the Spurs tend to slow down their pace and rest starters once they have a significant lead.

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NBA Pick: Bulls +15
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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