NBA Picks: 76ers vs. Bulls

Joe Freda

Thursday, February 28, 2013 1:31 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 1:31 PM GMT

Which struggling squad has the most value for a wager in this primetime battle on TNT? Let's find out if the Bulls or 76'ers are worth adding to our NBA picks tonight.

The Philadelphia 76ers have lost six straight matchups, while cashing with a 2-1 spread record in the span’s trio of road games. Thursday’s NBA betting has Doug Collins’ club heading west against the Chicago Bulls, who have been held to 85.1 PPG in their last seven contests.

Read on for a breakdown of each team from a betting standpoint, as I share my free picks for this matchup.

Bulls, Hinrich edged out at home

Chicago logged its seventh loss in 10 games with Tuesday’s 101-98 defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers, upset as an 8 ½-point home favorite. The Bulls shot 50 percent from their floor, while being outrebounded, 39-34.

Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich returned to the team’s lineup after missing three games with an elbow injury, notching a team-high 11 assists. Chicago’s Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer united for 53 points, while center Joakim Noah logged four blocks in 41 minutes of action.

The battle’s combined 199 points jumped above the ‘total’ of 185 ½, ending a 3-0 UNDER run from the Bulls’ prior three games. Chicago pulled to within two points with 37 seconds remaining, but Cleveland held on for the win after a missed jumper and bad pass from Deng and Boozer, respectively.

76ers , Turner fall short to Magic

Philadelphia’s latest defeat came on the same night’s card, dropping a 98-84 matchup to the Orlando Magic. The 76ers were outscored in paint points, 40-26, failing to cash as 8 ½-point home ‘chalk.’

76ers forward Evan Turner was his squad’s sole starter to reach double figures, hitting 2-of-7 field buckets en route to 10 points. Philadelphia’s Damien Wilkins and Jeremy Pargo came away with 14 points each off the bench, while Thaddeus Young logged 10 boards and three steals.

The duel’s combined 182 points dipped beneath the ‘total’ of 185 ½, moving the UNDER to 8-3 in the 76ers’ last 11 games. Philadelphia was edged in rebounds, 45-37, while allowing the Magic to connect from the floor at a 53.9 percent clip.

[gameodds]5/219646/43/us[/gameodds]

Back the 76ers as road dogs

NBA odds makers opened Chicago as a seven-point home favorite, while first listing the ‘total’ at 178 ½. Both squads will be off for one day and resume action on Saturday’s card, with Chicago hosting the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia returning home against the Golden State Warriors.

In the first of my evening's NBA picks, I am taking the points with the 76ers here, looking for a tight cover in a low-octane affair. Philadelphia has held foes to 95.7 PPG in their last three road affairs, while going 5-0 ATS in their last five spots that followed a loss of 10 points of more.

The 76ers have a 2-1 spread record in their last three visits to Chicago, including a cashed ticket in December’s 93-88 defeat as 6 ½-point road dogs. Philadelphia trailed by no more than eight points in that affair, while playing the second night of a back-to-back spot.

Chicago has not been worth backing in recent spots, going 1-5 ATS in its last six home dates against clubs with losing road records. The Bulls have broken the century mark in just once in their last 11 contests at United Center, held to 86.8 PPG in the stretch’s most recent four duels.

Look for Philadelphia to hand the Bulls another losing ticket here, staying within cashing range down the stretch.

Free NBA Picks:  Philadelphia 76ers +7 (Bookmaker.eu)
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