Jordan’s NBA Picks: 54-36
Chicago (22-59 SU & 35-44 ATS) at Philadelphia (50-31 SU & 37-44 ATS)
Wednesday, 8:00 PM EST
Free NBA Pick: Under
Recommended Sportsbook: Bovada
While the Bulls are likely holding out most of their important players on Wednesday due to the tank, the Sixers are locked into the 3rd seed and will rest all five starters as well. In a game that will feature more than a few guys who might not even be in the league next season, what should we expect from the spread and total?
Bulls Flatlining Offense, Sixers Playing It Safe
The Bulls have been trying to tank for most of the season, but they have gone into accelerated tank mode over their last eight games. They have been holding out their high-dollar players and making up exaggerated injuries to try and attain one of those top lottery odds heading into the offseason.
A loss to the Knicks on Tuesday didn’t help, however, as the Bulls are locked into the fourth-worst record in the league, which will lend them a 12.5% of winning the top overall lottery spot. However, that hasn’t stopped them from holding out everyone and not risking injury to any important assets.
The Sixers are looking at this game similarly. After holding out Joel Embiid and JJ Redick on Tuesday, Tobias Harris, Jimmy Butler, and Ben Simmons will join those two on the sidelines in this meaningless game.
While that means a whole lot, what it means for this game is there could be a huge lack of offense for both sides.
Over their last eight games, the Bulls are averaging just 98.4 points per game and 99.6 points per 100 possessions. Even if the Sixers didn’t play any defense, the Bulls still might not get that far past 100 points. If you take away their 115-point performance and win against the Wizards a week ago, they are only averaging 96 points in seven of their last eight.
The Sharp Pick
Even if the Sixers’ backups can drop 120 points on this hapless Bulls team, something I think is probably asking a little much, this total could still easily fall under. According to NBA Wowy, a site that tracks how teams and players perform with certain players on/off the court, the Sixers have a respectable 110 offensive rating with their starters off the court. They also have a pretty good defense, holding teams to 108.9 points per 100 possessions over 229 minutes on the court.
So, if the Sixers’ bench warmers and backups can play just slightly above average defense, I like them to hold Chicago to less than, or right at 100 points. Chicago couldn’t even get to 90 points on Tuesday against the Knicks, so 90 points may be a more reasonable expectation.
With all this in mind, add the under to your NBA Picks for the final day of the regular season.
Final Score Prediction: Bulls 103 – Sixers 112