NBA Picks Celtics vs. Bulls to go Under

David Lawrence

Thursday, January 2, 2014 1:22 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 1:22 PM UTC

The Boston Celtics are just one game better than the Chicago Bulls in the standings but if the playoff started today, the Celtics would be in and the Bulls would be out. That’s because both teams are fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, which the C’s currently hold.

The Boston Celtics can win because…

The Bulls are a lousy home team. On the year, they’re just 7-7 at the United Center but they’ve been far worse recently. Case and point: they are coming off an 85-79 loss at home to the Toronto Raptors. Sadly, that’s the second time that’s happened in three weeks because the Bulls have lost six of their last seven at home. If teams like Orlando and Milwaukee can win in Chicago, so can the Celtics. That’s reason enough to add the Celtics to our NBA picks.

The Chicago Bulls can win because…

The Celtics are slumping right now. They’re a team that’s endured a number of losing streaks as they’ve also compiled a four-game and a six-game losing streak this season. Entering Thursday, they’ve lost four of their last five.

The Bulls dominate the Celtics at home as they’ve won six of the last seven meetings they’ve hosted. They’ve also won seven of 10 meetings overall. These matchups always come down to the Celtics offense and what they can or can’t do against the stingy Bulls defense. They probably won’t get much done on Thursday considering they score just 91.7 points per game on the road, which is tied for the second-fewest in the NBA.

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Outlook & Pick

The Bulls are just 4-13 against the spread this year when they are favored on the NBA odds. That’s the case again on Thursday when they’re laying four points but I’m willing to give the points. Boston’s offense is quite likely to get muzzled as the Bulls have held them to just 87 points per game in their last seven trips to the United Center.

Pick: Under 5 at 5Dimes


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