NBA Picks:Bulls vs. Nets

Joe Freda

Thursday, April 4, 2013 11:15 AM GMT

The Brooklyn Nets put up 105.9 PPG in their stretch of eight road matchups during the past two weeks.Will the Nets’ surge continue in Brooklyn or will the Bulls tighten up the ‘total’ here?

The Over has cashed for the Nets at 7-1. P.J. Carlesimo’s squad returns to Barclays Center for Thursday’s contest against the Chicago Bulls, who have held foes to 95.5 PPG in their last four spots away from home. How do we go for our NBA picks?

Nets, Brooks thrash Cavs

Brooklyn wrapped up its road journey with Wednesday’s 113-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, cashing as five-point road ‘chalk.’ The Nets connected 56.6 percent of their field buckets, leading by as many as 34 points.

Nets guards MarShon Brooks and Deron Williams united for 51 points, while finishing with a combined 15 assists. Brooklyn’s Reggie Evans grabbed 18 boards, while adding two of his side’s six steals.

The lopsided affair’s 208 points leaped OVER the ‘total’ of 199 ½, despite the Nets holding Cleveland to a 38.2 percent night from the floor. Brooklyn’s C.J. Watson drained 4-of-4 shots beyond the arc, finishing with 12 points off the bench.

Bulls, Boozer fall to Wizards

Chicago logged its second loss in three games with Tuesday’s 90-86 defeat as a 2 ½-point road dog against the Washington Wizards. The Bulls blew a 10-point lead, while being edged out in rebounds, 51-45.

Bulls forward Carlos Boozer came away with 19 points and 12 boards, notching his sixth double-double in seven games. The two-time All-Star added a team-high five assists, while mates Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich logged two steals each.

The battle’s combined 176 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 187 ½, ending a 4-0 OVER streak from the Bulls’ prior week of action. Boozer and Hinrich were both hit with technical fouls, while Chicago was outscored in the second half, 48-37.

Back the OVER in Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson (16.4 PPG) is listed as “questionable” after missing five games with a quadriceps injury, while Chicago’s Joakim Noah (11.4 RPG) is “doubtful” with a foot injury. The Nets will have one day off before hosting the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday, while the Bulls return home on no rest to face the Orlando Magic as part of Friday’s league slate.

I am adding a ticket on the OVER here, looking for some higher octane than the NBA odds makers expect.

Johnson’s absence from Brooklyn’s lineup has boosted scoring from others, while the Nets have allowed visiting foes to hit a sizable 38.6 percent from three-point land. The factor of no rest should make Brooklyn’s defense even looser than normal here, while the OVER is 4-0 in the team’s last four contests played in the second end of a back-to-back spot.

[gameodds]5/223834/43-19-999996-92/us[/gameodds]

The OVER is 2-1 in the three prior matchups between these rivals, including a cashed ticket in February’s 93-89 home win for the Nets. Brooklyn shot 52 percent from the field, while five players from each squad reached double figures in scoring.

Chicago has seen the OVER cash at 4-1 in its last five matchups against squads with winning records, while likely looking to pile on some points after a dismal night against the Wizards. The Bulls hit 20-of-22 free throws last time in Brooklyn, wit guard Nate Robinson logging 11 assists. 

Look for the OVER to collect again here, with both sides keeping the tempo up to find the rims.

Free pick: OVER at Bet Online