NBA Picks: Lock Rockets To Win & Cover ATS vs. Desperate Bulls

Nikki Adams

Saturday, March 5, 2016 6:43 PM GMT

The Chicago Bulls are desperate to get back in the winning column. Can they accomplish the feat at the expense of the Houston Rockets on Saturday? Here’s a preview of this clash complete with NBA picks.

Houston Rockets (30-31)
The Houston Rockets are coming off a 100-95 win over New Orleans on Thursday night at home, coming through as the home faves but failing to cover – only just – the -6 closing spread on the NBA odds board. The win snaps a two-game losing streak and has the Rockets improving to 30-31 on the season. Although they are inside the playoff picture at the moment, they’re only hanging on by a thread.

Form hasn’t been much to cheer about, particularly lately. They are 17-14 SU at home and 13-17 SU on the road. Most recently, they are 4-6 SU in their last ten games and 3-3 in their last six games. In their last four away games they are 2-2 SU, which includes a 119-105 win over the Portland Trailblazers all while installed as the 4-point road underdogs at closing doors.

Overall, the Rockets are 26-35-0 ATS this season which includes a 1.4-point losing margin and a negative 2.8-point differential versus the spread. On the road, they are 14-16-0 ATS with a 2.1-point losing margin and 1.0-point differential versus the spread.

 

Chicago Bulls (30-30)
Inasmuch as the Rockets are struggling in recent weeks, the Chicago Bulls are simply off colour and off form. They are riding a four-game losing streak into Saturday’s date with the Rockets, desperate to get back into the win column after slipping to a 30-30 SU mark.

In their last 12 games, the Bulls have mustered up just four wins – three at home and one on the road. Their most standout win over the course of this run was a 116-106 win over the Toronto Raptors as the 7.5-point home underdogs.

Most recently, the Bulls have lost to Atlanta, Portland and Miami and were outscored 437-383 (for a 13.5-point losing margin on average. If that doesn’t highlight their issues on defense, what will? That said, three of those games were away from home and those avid NBA followers are under no illusions about the Bulls on the road. In fact, the Bulls are the mirror opposite with an 19-11 SU mark at home but an 11-19 SU mark on the road.

Overall, they are 23-37-0 ATS with a 1.2-point losing margin and a 2.1-point differential versus the spread. At home, they are 12-18-0 ATS with a 1.4-point winning margin and a 2.6-point differential versus the spread.

 

NBA Betting Verdict
Odds makers are tipping the game in favor of the Rockets but only just – Pinnacle is offering up a Rockets win at -110 on the money line with a Bulls win at +100, while Bookmaker is offering Rockets win at -120 on the money line and a Bulls win at +100.  By the NBA odds, the difference is a moot point really with both sides offering value for the straight up win. Similarly, the spread betting line is opened at 1.5-points with the Rockets to the good, but it’s already whittled down to 1-point at most sports betting outlets.

By the stats, very little separates these two outfits which makes this a bit of a tossup for our NBA picks that isn’t helped either by the rather tight market on the game. Push comes to shove, we’re leaning ever so slightly towards the Rockets on the road, but we won’t be surprised if the Bulls tap into their home form for what would be the upset on the NBA betting floor.

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NBA Picks: Rockets -110 and -1
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle and at 5Dimes