Free NBA Picks: Grab Low Scoring First Half Odds In Bulls vs Pacers

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Today we come with a nice play on the Bulls heading into Indianapolis. Right now the NBA Odds have the Pacers as -7 favorites, with a total of 203 points. Where is the value in the game tonight?

Say goodbye to the playoffs
The Bulls pretty much put the icing on their lottery cake over the weekend, but Monday’s game pretty much sealed the deal. After leading for most of the first half, the Bulls were outscored in the second quarter 30-14 and the Hawks never looked back.

It was kind of a microcosm of this team’s season. They are just good enough to give you hope, before being crushed and sending their backers straight back down to earth. After last night’s fourth straight loss and fifth straight ATS loss, the Bulls are 2½ games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, and even the Washington Wizards have jumped ahead of them in the standings.

With only nine games to go, it isn’t an impossible mountain to climb, but tonight against the Pacers on the second half of a back to back is going to be a tough one as well. The Bulls are coming into this game at 13-22 ATS on the road this season, and they have been the worst team in the league coming off the back to back this year at 5-10 ATS.

However, I learned my lesson from last night. I am scared of a Bulls backdoor cover much like they accomplished last night, so instead I am looking at the total. However, not the game total, the first half total in the NBA Odds.

Coming off the back to back, the Bulls have either struggled to scored in the first halves of those games on no rest, or kept their opponents from scoring much. In their last six back to backs, the Bulls have averaged just above 50 points in the first halves of those games. However, some of those were against horrific defensive teams, and others were at home, where they tend to play better on offense.

Tonight they are going against one of the tougher defensive teams in the NBA, especially at home. The Pacers have now cashed the under in six of their last seven home games, and the only one the under missed was against the high-flying Thunder. In fact if you take away that game against Oklahoma City, the Pacers have given up fewer than 40 points in four of those six home games, and they are averaging giving up only 39 points in the first half of six of their last seven home games.

The Sharp Pick
With the Bulls struggling to score at times on no rest, they could come out flat and demoralized after their loss last night. The Pacers would love nothing more than to solidify their playoff seeding on the backs of their divisional rivals. The Pacers are probably one of the more unheralded defensive units in the NBA, and what makes this NBA pick even better is the potential for the Bulls’ defense to show up here, even on no rest.

These two teams have cashed the under against one another in two of their three meetings this season, and the combined first half score of all three of those games fell below 100 points. I am looking for that kind of effort from both teams again here tonight. These two are averaging shooting less than 40 percent from the floor in their three games against one another, and I see another defensive game with a lot of missed shots tonight; especially in the first half.

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Free NBA Pick:  First Half Bulls Under 101½
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage

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