NBA Picks: Can the Bulls Upset Road Favorite Thunder at Home?

SBR Staff

Thursday, March 5, 2015 2:00 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015 2:00 PM GMT

Today we go to Chicago to see how the beat up Bulls will manage a victory over OKC.  Read more to see why we think Chicago will pull the minor upset.

Systems don’t change
With the injuries mounting for Chicago we can see why Oklahoma City opened up at a -4 favorite in the NBA odds. Still, defensively the Bulls are playing Tom Thibodeau basketball. In the last three games the Bulls are holding opponents to a 92.3 average, and they are allowing 43% shooting in that same span. This tells us how the Bulls are circling the wagons right now and controlling tempo which we think they will be able to do against OKC. With Chicago, even with different personnel, they understand their rotations and are great at limiting team points beyond the arc (leading the league at 18% for opponents points scored from that range).  Although OKC has played more up tempo teams recently in their last three games (prior to last night’s game with Philly), they still allowed an average of 111 points a game and 46% shooting from the field.  We are predicting OKC will not continue this type of defensive play against the defensive minded Bulls, but we like the Bulls to control the flow of the game.

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Home and away is like night and day
We do not like to go against the Thunder at home… ever. They have a great home court advantage and their play improves dramatically.  On the road is a different story, they shoot 45% at home compared to their 43.7% on the road, and total points from 104 to 100 per average.  Since the beginning of 2015 they are 7-9 on the road and beat only a few decent teams (Wash, Char, NO).

 

Read between the line(s)
Chicago has not been great this year as a home underdog at just 3-3 ATS. As an away favorite OKC is just 7-8 ATS, but off of no rest they have been excellent off the back to back’s going 9-3 ATS.  We like this though because if there is anything the spread analysis has told us is that it tends to draw back to the middle.  We are more likely to go against a trend than back it especially when we like the matchups

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Final(s) thoughts
With Rose out the future does not look very bright in Chicago, but I highly doubt they will quit on Coach Thibs.  They still have a good core group that plays well together and will leave it on the floor every night, the finals might be bit of stretch for them.  Most reports I have read consider OKC to be right in it once Durant gets back and possibly headed toward the Western Conference finals.  I am not so sure...I don’t think they can get past a few other teams in the West being that they would have to win one on the road in any series.  Still a long way to go for these teams and a lot of questions, but for our play it is backing the Bulls to win today and we suggest you add them to your NBA picks.

 

NBA Pick: Chicago plus the money line

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