Free NBA Picks: Bulls' Losing Streak Ends Tonight vs. Magic

Kevin Stott

Saturday, March 26, 2016 2:03 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 26, 2016 2:03 PM UTC

Chicago is getting some of its key Injured players back in the fold and needing the Win, is backing the Bulls the best NBA pick for this game?

Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls head south to Disney World on Saturday to face the Orlando Magic in a game with significance only really to the visitors who are in 9th place in the Eastern Conference and chasing a Playoff spot. With Chicago getting some of its key Injured players back in the fold and needing the Win, is backing the Bulls the best Rx here and the pick? Let’s look into the NBA odds, the L10 meetings in this series as well as any recent Trends, current SU and ATS records, Streaks, Injuries and what’s happened ATS in this series and try to come up with a logical pick worth recommending in a game that shouldn’t be overbet.

Odds Overview
The Chicago Bulls (36-35 SU, 12-22 SU Road) head to the Amway Center in Orlando on Saturday night to face Nikola Vucevic and the Magic (29-42 SU, 18-17 SU Home) in the third and final meeting between these two teams with both splitting and each winning the Home meeting, the Bulls in Chicago, 92-87 (Nov. 1) and the Magic in Orlando, 102-89 (March 2).

Oddsmakers in Europe have opened up the visiting Bulls as 3-point favorites (at GTbets) here with the game’s Total set at 208½ (-104, Marathon). The Money Line Winner odds here sees Chicago as -162 Road favorites with Orlando lined at +135 on the takeback (Paddy Power) while the 1st Half line has been set with the Bulls as 2½-point chalks (118, Marathon) with the 1st Half Total at 105½ (Over -118, offered by YouWager).


Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls (29-42-0 ATS, 13-21-0 ATS Road) and 1st-year Head Coach Fred Hoiberg are still in 9th place in the Eastern Conference and sit 1½ games behind the 8th-place Detroit Pistons (84-34) who have been surging, W4 in a row and 7 of the L10 to get into a spot where they (the Pistons) can potentially meet LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Round 1 of the Playoffs and maybe shock the world.

Meanwhile, Chicago (L2 5-5 SU L10) has been playing below par, but this team has possibly been ravaged by Injuries all year—maybe more than any other NBA team—and if there’s one team you’ve wanted to consistently fade this year blindly with their tepid 40.8% ATS winning percentage...or 59.2% if you’ve been fading the Bulls. In their last game on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple, Chicago lost to the Knicks for a second straight night, 106-94 in a name in which the Bulls held the lead just once. Derrick Rose (30 points), Jimmy Butler (19 points) and Taj Gibson (10 points) led Chicago in scoring and the Bulls went 1-3 against New York this regular Season after sweeping the series last year (4-0).

Chicago (150/1 to win NBA championship, Ladbrokes). C Pau Gasol (Knee) missed the game and is listed as Questionable with that Inflammation of the Right Knee as is SG E’Twaun Moore (Hamstring) while PF Cameron Bairstow (Back) is Out Indefinitely and C Joakim Noah (Shoulder) has been Out for the Season but Chicago (101.7 AF-103.4 AA) did finally get second-year SF Nikola Mirotic (Appendix) back in the lineup.


Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic (39-31-1 ATS, 20-15-0 ATS Home) and Head Coach Scott Skiles have been slumping worse than Chicago lately (L5, 2-8 SU L10), but in 13th place and out of the Playoff race so it doesn’t really matter to them.

In their last game, the Magic lost to the Pistons in Auburn Hills (suburban Detroit), 118-102 on Wednesday as Elfrid Payton had a Triple-Double for the visitors with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Aaron Gordon (15 points), Evan Fournier (14 points) and Indiana-product and G Victor Oladipo (14 points) all had nice games for the Magic but Orlando (100.8 AF-103.3 AA) was without star and leading scorer C NikolaVucevic (Groin) who is Out Indefinitely.

Oladipo (Wrist) is listed as Probable at one source and Questionable at another for this game Saturday while PF Ersan Ilyasova (Ankle) is also listed as Out for this contest. Those are two pretty important cogs for a team already out of the race and maybe lacking some Motivation right about now.


Recent Trends, L10 Meetings in Series, Logical Reasoning and Pick
In the L10 meetings in this series, Orlando has been great, going 8-2 ATS and W6 in a row ATS (CHI 6-4 L10), The Under is 6-4 in those 10 and the Home team has W3 straight in this series. The Underdog is an impressive 20-7 ATS in the L27 meetings in this series and Chicago is a miserable 8-22 ATS the L30 games played on Saturdays and just 3-8 ATS in its L11 Road games and has consistently had one of the worst ATS records overall and on the Road this Injury-riddled campaign but Orlando is no bargain and the Magic and Oladipo (Questionable) are 2-7 ATS their L9 against the Central Division. The Under is 12-4 in the L16 meetings in Orlando but the Over is 6-2 ATS the L8 Magic Home dribbles.

This is a lackluster game and a tough handicap but it seems Chicago will start making a Fear-based run and that even as bad as they have been playing, this is a good spot to start anew and try to finish the season with some Pride and hopefully fight for that 7th- or 8th-seed in the Eastern Conference, so they will be today's NBA pick.

With Oladipo banged up and Vucevic out for Orlando and Butler and Mirotic back and dudes like Creighton Rookie Doug McDermott (9.6 ppg) blossoming, Chicago is the call in this one despite the Magic’s 6-game ATS streak and general success in this series over the L10 meetings.

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Free NBA Pick: Bulls -3
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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