The NBA Odds for this one should be tight throughout, so let’s take a look at some of the determining factors surrounding this matchup. So who gets the honor of getting knocked out by Miami in the second round?
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Deron Williams returns to the playoffs this season, this time on the right coast. His team is better, but his opponent isn’t bad either. Barring some unexpected and unprecedented return of Derrick Rose, I think the Nets have this series in the bag. However, if they don’t play defense the way they have for most of the season, they might be in trouble.
Although Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson both returned to the Bulls over the last few games, both are obviously not quite at 100%. If Noah especially isn’t playing at a high level, the Bulls have no shot. If watching he Bulls all season has told me anything, it’s that Noah is definitely the second most important player to the Bulls right behind Rose. I will give Chicago a chance here, but I don’t think it’s a good one.
Brooklyn played pretty solid ball over the last three or four weeks of the season, and although the Bulls may be a formidable opponent if the Nets can continue to play like they did over the final month, they will beat the Bulls. The Nets finished up 15-7 SU over their last 22 games of the season, including winning six of their last seven games and not resting their stars too much.
Much like in the West, the fourth seeded Nets are only slight -170 favorites in the eyes of the NBA odds makers to win the series, and the Bulls come in at +150. Game 1 is Saturday and the Nets are -5 favorites with a total of 183 ½.
The Sharp PickWhen it comes to placing our NBA picks, I’m not seeing much immediate value in Game 1, however I do think the Bulls have a shot at beating the Nets in the series. Chicago is very disciplined and very good on defense, and they also have the Derrick Rose wildcard. I’ll place a small wager on the Bulls series price as a homer bet.