Lock Bulls +8 With Your Christmas NBA Picks To Cover Spread vs. Thunder

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, December 24, 2015 6:16 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015 6:16 PM GMT

The second game on the slate for Christmas Day is the Bulls and Thunder from Oklahoma City. The NBA Odds have the Bulls as +8 underdogs on the road, and with a total of 206 points. Will the Bulls’ most recent injury hurt their chances of covering the spread here?

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My NBA Pick: Bulls +8 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

Joakim Noah Injury and Bulls Defense
The Bulls have one of the best frontcourts in the NBA in regards to their depth, however, they will be without arguably their best big man for the Christmas Day game. Joakim Noah hurt his shoulder the other night for the Bulls and will miss at least the nest few weeks, which means that it might be finally time to free Bobby Portis. The Bulls’ first round pick has played well this season in very limited minutes, and without Noah he will see some time in the rotation.

However, with Noah being the Bulls best passer and probably best rebounder as well, will the surging Thunder run away with this one? I’m not sold on that. Chicago has the defenders to throw at Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, and while Jimmy Butler gets all the credit for his defense, Derrick Rose has been an above average defender this season, and he is quick enough to shut down some of the Westbrook drives to the lane.

Even though this game is going to be played in Oklahoma City, if the Bulls play defense like they did in the first meeting between these two teams, they can still cover the +8 without Noah. They are going to have trouble rebounding the ball some, but if Portis can come in and give them 10-12 strong minutes of banging and rebounding, it might be enough to stave off the Thunder making a run here.

OKC has been playing better, but some of their recent wins have come against some bad teams. If the Bulls can stay solid on defense in this one, and actually rebound the ball some more, they have a very good chance of being a sneaky value NBA Pick on Christmas.

 

The Sharp Pick
The Bulls have already beaten and covered against the Thunder once this season, and in the 2015 calendar year, these two teams have played three times, and the Bulls are 2-1 ATS during those three games. Obviously Chicago is in a bit of a slump right now losing their last three games in a row, but nothing brings out the best in the Bulls than a team that is actually contending for a title. The Bulls sometimes have their best games against the best of opponents, and the Thunder definitely fall into that category.

Chicago is 3-1 SU already against the Spurs, Cavs, Thunder and Warriors this season. These are easily the four best teams in the league right now, and if Chicago can get up once again, I think they make it 4-1 heading into the New Year where they’ll play the Warriors again in January. Take the points with Chicago in this one, and hopefully they can bust out of their slump on the big Christmas Day extravaganza.

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