Chicago Bulls are the NBA Pick at Home vs. Charlotte

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, March 23, 2015 5:30 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 23, 2015 5:30 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Monday.


The home favorite has some atoning to do Monday night when the Charlotte Hornets (30-38, 13-20 away) pay a visit to those Chicago Bulls (42-29, 22-14 home) at the United Center in Chicago, IL at 8:05 ET in a game available on WGN.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports now has Chicago as a home favorite for this contest with the current line at -6½ with odds of -108.

Golden Opportunity Blown
The Bulls had an epic collapse vs. the Pistons in Detroit on Saturday, thus blowing a chance to move up to the third seed in the Eastern Conference, as they blew a 19-point lead in the third quarter and were outscored by 35 points the rest of the way including 27-12 in the fourth quarter of the 107-91 defeat. Thus Chicago enters this contest still one-half game behind the third seeded Toronto Raptors in the East.

The Hornets are trying to make the playoffs for the second straight season after qualifying for the post-season just once in the history of the franchise prior to last year, and they moved into the eighth and final playoff spot in the East despite being eight games below .500 by being the winning NBA pick vs. the Timberwolves 109-98 in Minnesota last night.

Seeking Revenge for Loss in Charlotte
Besides looking to atone for that missed opportunity to move up the Eastern Conference standings on Saturday, the Bulls are also seeking revenge for a 101-91 loss to these Hornets in Charlotte 10 days ago on March 13th, making the Hornets 2-1 both straight up and ATS in the head-to-head meetings between these clubs thus far this season.

This is not the same Bulls team as the first four years during the tenure of Coach Tom Thibodeau, as those teams all played stifling defense but were offensively challenged. And nothing epitomized Chicago’s style of play those four years better than simultaneously leading the NBA in fewest points allowed last season and ranking dead last in points scored.

Well, it has been a different story this season with an improved Chicago offense up to 13th in the league in scoring with 100.8 points per game, and that average has climbed even further to 102.1 points per game here at home. The flip side is that the Chicago defense has not been as stout ranking 12th in points against at 98.8 points per game, although the Bulls are still a commendable eighth in field goal percentage allowed at 44.0 percent and fourth in three-point defense at 33.4 percent.

Not Playing Well since Beating Bulls
The Hornets may have moved into a playoff position, but they are not playing great basketball right now and are very fortunate that none of the teams actually fighting for the last two playoff spot of the weak Eastern Conference are playing that well. In fact, after beating these Bulls in Charlotte the Hornets proceeded to lose four straight games and it took facing a Minnesota team with the worst record in the Western Conference to snap that streak Sunday.

Now Charlotte is coming back with no rest while on the road again and facing a Chicago team that had Sunday off and thus had more time to stew over that terrible collapse on Saturday. The Hornets are the offensively challenged team this season ranking 27th out of 30 NBA teams in scoring with just 94.8 points per game, so whatever success they have had has been keyed by a defense that ranks an excellent fifth in points against at only 97.0 per game.

However Charlotte has allowed more than its season average in five of its last eight games while allowing 99.0 points per game during this span.

Jimmy Butler Expected Back
Finally, the best news of all for the Bulls is that late word has come down that Jimmy Butler will make his return to the Chicago lineup tonight for the first tine since injuring his elbow on March 1st. The development of Butler into a first-time All-Star this season while averaging 20.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game was a key reason for the Bulls’ offensive improvement, so his return is obviously a huge deal.

Thus, look for Chicago to respond with an emphatic victory as it seeks that third seed in the East vs. Charlotte at home on Monday.

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NBA Pick: Bulls -6½ (-108)

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