NBA Picks: Bulls vs. Thunder

Jordan Sharp

Sunday, February 24, 2013 6:39 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 6:39 PM UTC

Since their move to Oklahoma City, the Bulls haven’t had much success against the Thunder, but will that change tonight, as Chicago is a big underdog?

NBA Picks: Bulls vs. Thunder

The slumping Chicago Bulls head into Oklahoma City this evening to play the Thunder, and OKC comes into this game as -9 home favorites in the NBA Odds

Chicago PG issues

Not only have Chicago fans been waiting all season for the return of the prodigal son, but also Kirk Hinrich has been effective and injured often this season. He has missed 14 games total this season, including nine of the Bulls’ last ten.

While Nate Robinson has been playing well for the most part during Hinrich’s absence, he is not a starting point guard. He is a scorer, and his passing skills leave something to be desired. It’s no knock on Nate, but the Bulls’ record without Hinrich this season is 5-9 SU.

Hinrich played in the Bulls’ first game after the break and played well in 31 minutes. However, the elbow flared up again and it has forced him to miss Chicago’s last two games. Chicago has been tight lipped on his status for this game, so make sure you check the news coming out of Chicago’s morning shoot around in OKC, because the Bulls are obviously affected, so the line will too.

Chesapeake Arena; also known as “Thunderdome”

It’s kind of incredible how well the Thunder are playing at home this season. At 18-9-1 ATS and an even more impressive 24-4 SU at home this season, the Thunder have been one of the most consistent winners of any team this season.

With the exception of their loss to Miami right before the All Star Break at home, OKC hasn’t lost SU at home since January 2nd. I should also mention that the Thunder’s scoring average jumps up over 3 points when playing at home, as they are dropping over 109 per game at home this season.

This will be a great matchup of defense against offense. Chicago will try and latch onto Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook tonight, but will they be able to slow them down enough to prevent a double-digit win?

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The Sharp Pick

The Bulls’ defense has been very successful against the Thunder in the past, but that was with four of the Bulls’ starters only having to play defense because Derrick Rose is a one-man nightmare for opposing defenses. This time they will have to play OKC without the benefit of being fresh (these two played in the first week of the season in Chicago). However in their last four trips to Oklahoma City, the Bulls have held the Thunder to under 100 points in three of those four games.

However without word on Kirk Hinrich’s status, I think we have to lay off the spread because his presence or lack there of would sway me one way or another as the line stands now at +9. I do however like the total, which sits at a reasonable 195. I think either way the Hinrich situation goes, this is the most valuable total for the over tonight for a few reasons.

I obviously know I just got done talking about the Bulls’ defense, but with Hinrich either limited or not playing at all, Chicago will generate a lot of misses on offense tonight. Their road scoring actually is better than their overall scoring, (another example of how awful the Bulls have been at home this season) and even if Hinrich plays, the Thunder should be able to eclipse 100 tonight, or at least get close. I’m projecting a score of around 104-95 tonight in favor of OKC for my NBA picks tonight.

My NBA Pick: OVER 195 

Also, check out our picks on the Cletics vs. Blazers!
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