NBA Monday: Absences Add Intrigue to 76ers-Bulls

Jordan Sharp

Monday, December 18, 2017 5:50 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 5:50 PM UTC

The Philadelphia 76ers will be without Joel Embiid on Monday night as they begin a busy week. However, that could make the NBA odds for this game against the Chicago Bulls more appealing.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago BullsFree NBA Pick: Over 209½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Bulls have been hot for whatever reason lately, winning their last five games straight up and going 6-0 ATS over their last six. They have started to play a bit faster, and I think that could play again tonight. If Lauri Markkanen is out again for the Bulls, Chicago’s front court will be very fast-paced with Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis on the court together. Add that to the fact that Embiid is out, and you have a nice one-two combo of power forwards in what could be a small-ball game.

The Bulls have cashed the over in four of their last five games, and their pace increase has a lot to do with it. The Bulls are playing at a pace higher than 101 possessions over those last five games, and if that continues against the Sixers, the over is going to be a nice value.

Philadelphia has a pace of 103.8 possessions per 48 minutes on the road, the highest mark of any road team this season. Considering Philly has cashed the over in three in a row, and they are averaging allowing nearly 115 points per game over their last five, add the over to your NBA Picks for this one.

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