Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers NBA Betting

Swinging Johnson

Friday, November 22, 2013 1:02 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 1:02 PM GMT

The Bulls got upended last night in Mile High while Portland has blazed a path to the top of the Western Conference standings but which side is the right side in our NBA picks this evening?

The Bulls got upended last night in Mile High while Portland has blazed a path to the top of the Western Conference standings but which side is the right side in our NBA picks this evening?

Chicago Bulls (6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS)

The Bulls hung around with the Nuggets last night until they wilted in the second-half and not only had their five-game winning streak snapped but failed to cover as two-point favorites in NBA odds. However, if you happened upon my preview of that game yesterday you would have a few extra bucks in your bankroll this morning as I predicted the Nuggets would dispatch the travelin' Bulls and lo and behold, they did to the tune of 87-87.

The Bulls have lost their last five straight when visiting Portland and they will have to shoot markedly better than they did last night in Denver when they connected on only 38.8% of its shots. It has been a season of discontent for Derrick Rose who, after a yearlong absence rehabbing his torn ACL, has battled nagging injuries like hamstring pulls and his current turf-toe. Rose has not been playing to his MVP caliber self and the rust is evident but last night he knocked down 19 points on 9 for 20 shooting including a three-pointer. Unfortunately it was not enough and the Bulls bowed in their first game of a two week road swing.

Portland Trailblazers (10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS)

The Blazers have been a veritable ATM for their backers winning their last eight and covering the spread in NBA odds in seven of those contests. It was more of the same on Wednesday night as they traveled to Milwaukee as 5 ½ point road chalk and rewarded both their fans and their backers with a 91-82 win and cover.

Tonight they will be welcomed back to the Moda Center (can they just renege on the naming rights deal and return to calling it the Rose Garden?) where they have scored five consecutive victories over the Bulls and hope to make it number six on Friday night. Portland is 4-1 straight up and 3-2 against the number in NBA odds at home this season. Ironically, their last blown cover took place on November 13th when they played their last home game before embarking on a four-game road trip. It was a nail biting affair against the Suns but the Blazers came out on top with a 90-89 win but failed as 7 ½ point favorites.

Portland is doing everything right. For example, when their offense is struggling their defense is suffocating as demonstrated in their last game against the Bucks, allowing Milwaukee only 82 points. They are currently ranked 7th in points scored, 10th in points allowed, 10th in assists per game and 8th in rebounding. It all adds up to a very balanced and productive squad that hasn't seen this kind of success since they went on a 13-game run in December of 2007.

The Pick:

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When last these teams met it was in March of last year with the Blazers walking off Chicago's United Center court with a 99-89 victory. Prior to that, Portland secured a 102-94 victory when the Bulls last visited the Rose Garden. In addition to Chicago's struggle with Portland in recent memory they are also coming off a game last night. I know that I am always inclined to fade the team in the second game of a back-to-back but that is not a guaranteed recipe for success as the oddsmakers are on to that little game.

In addition to losing their last five in Portland they have lost 11 of their last 13 dating all the way back to February 3rd, 2007. I'm not sure this is going to be a cakewalk for the Blazers but it's hard to make a case for the Bulls here.

Play Portland -3 ½ at Bet365.com. 

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