NBA Picks: Bulls vs. Magic

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 1:43 PM GMT

After helping to end the Bobcats’ long losing streak, the Bulls head down to face off against the Magic. Orlando is fresh off of a strong performance where they almost upset their neighbors to the south the Heat.

The NBA Odds for this game are favoring the Bulls, but only by a slight -4.5 point margin. After their horrific performance against the Bobcats in Chicago, will the Bulls be able to shake off that feeling to beat the Magic, or will Orlando continue their hot play?

[gameodds]5/133540/43-19-999996-1096-198-238-93/us[/gameodds]

Chicago slump

The Bulls’ hot start to the season without Derrick Rose may be coming to an end, as this team now brings a different look to the court each time they play. This criticism could all be an overreaction to their recent loss to the Bobcats, who might have just gotten sick of losing, but Chicago has not looked good on offense all season.

The Bulls pride themselves in defense, but when they get into a hole, it is really hard to come back from. Charlotte jumped on the Bulls early and Chicago had zero answers after getting behind by double figures in the first half.

Tonight the Bulls will likely be without Kirk Hinrich still, however there is a chance he could play. Joakim Noah has also been dealing with some sickness, and his absence was one of the reasons that the Bulls lost to Charlotte. If Noah and Hinrich are either out or less than 100%, the Bulls might be in trouble. 

Meet Mr. Vucevic 

The Magic were left with a huge hole to fill after the Dwight Howard trade, or so we all thought. In the 2011 draft, which saw a bunch of solid NBA players drafted, and saw what looks likes a steal when the 76ers drafted Nikola Vucevic 16th overall. Vucevic played pretty well as a rookie, and was one of the players that went to Orlando in the Howard trade. 

Vucevic is coming along a lot quicker than most thought, and in his last game had his coming out party. He had been playing solid before their game against the Heat, but Monday night against Miami Vucevic had 20 points ad 29 rebounds to go along with 3 blocked shots.

Vucevic has been wonderful since Glen Davis has been hurt, and he looks like the center of the future for the Magic. If Noah is still not himself and not over his sickness, Vucevic could be in for another big game.

The Sharp Pick

Going over the NBA betting lines, I am split on both the total and the spread. However, I’m going to once again make use of the teaser for my pick in tonight’s game. Teasing the Magic up to +9 would be great value for Orlando as they are at home, and teasing the total up to bet the under seems like a nice value play as well. 

When making your NBA picks, remember a two-team teaser pays out the same as a straight bet, and I think it’s the way to go. Both teams have some injuries to key offensive players, and both teams have their battles with scoring the ball, while both teams are good defensively.

My NBA Pick: 2-team teaser Magic +9 & UNDER 189

2012-2013 NBA Teaser record: 1-3-1