NBA Picks: Bulls Home-Court Advantage the Key Over Pacers

David Lawrence

Monday, November 16, 2015 2:23 PM GMT

The Indiana Pacers started the season 0-3 but have been red-hot since. Can they keep it up on the road at Chicago on Monday? Review the NBA odds with me for a free NBA pick at the end.

Momentum
The Pacers had a rough go of things in the first week of the season as they lost all three of their contests. There was even some concern after their third loss came by a margin of 21 points. However, they’ve been a completely different team since. They’ve won six of their last seven games and have proven to be one of the hottest teams in the league right now. The main difference has been the performance of Paul George, who is again looking like an MVP-caliber type of player. George averaged just 16.8 points per game in the Pacers first four while making just 1.0 threes per contest. Since then, he’s been a different man as he’s averaged 29.3 points per game while pouring in an average of 3.2 threes per game. When he’s on like this, the Pacers are a quality team.

As for the Bulls, they’ve been up and down throughout the season, but mostly up. They enter Monday having won three of their last four games. On the season, they’ve lost only three times in nine games and two of the losses were in overtime. It has been a transition for them going from head coach Tom Thibodeau to Fred Hoiberg, but it seems to be slowly working for them. Their offense is average 101.4 points per game and while that’s only 16th in the NBA, it’s almost four points better than what they averaged last April as they were fading down the stretch.

 

Home-Away Trends
The Bulls are currently 6-3 overall but have been noticeably better at home. They are 4-1 at the United Center compared to 2-2 on the road. As for the Pacers, they are similar as they are 4-2 at home compared to 2-2 on the road. Home-court advantage will be key in this spot.

 

Injuries
The Pacers have a couple of key injuries to factor into your handicapping of the NBA odds. For starters, rookie center Myles Turner is out. He’ll miss this game. Also, guard Rodney Stuckey is questionable. He’s dealing with a sprained ankle and has missed the last two games. Keep an eye on his situation to see if he suits up.

The Bulls are still without Mike Dunleavy, who is still sidelined with an ankle injury. He is targeting a mid-December return but the loss hasn’t really hampered the Bulls that much.

 

What’s The Pick?
The Pacers have looked good recently but one might question who they’ve beaten recently. They’ve registered wins over the Boston Celtics (twice), the Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons. Some of those wins are quality but it’s not as if they’re beating Cleveland and Golden State. As a matter of fact, their lone loss in their current six-of-seven stretch was to Cleveland.

Home-court advantage looks like it’ll be the difference-maker in this spot. That being the case, lay the points with the Bulls for your NBA picks. They have a little bit more depth and quality.

Free NBA Pick: Bulls -5 at Pinnacle

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2882614, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,93,92,238,349], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]