New Orleans lost Anthony Davis for the next several weeks after breaking his hand, and now the Pelicans travel into Chicago as a +6 ½ underdog against the Bulls. Of course Chicago has already lost their franchise player for the season, but overall I think this might be a pretty evenly matched game. The Pelicans now have nothing down low defensively or offensively, however if the Chicago big men play well, I could also see the Bulls covering.
This is why I think the total has much more value. At 192 ½, I see the under having some value tonight. Chicago is still one of the league’s best defensive teams, giving up 92 points per game, and only 82 points per game at home. New Orleans does give up a ton of points on the road, but without Rose, the Bulls are still likely going to struggle offensively.
Chicago is also only giving up only around 42% shooting from the field this season, and without Davis getting easy buckets, the Pelicans could have a bad night from the floor on the road in the United Center. The under has cashed in three of the last five meetings overall between these two teams, as well as five of the last six times they have played in Chicago. The Bulls have also cashed the under in eight of their last 12 games, and five of their last six home games.
My Pick: ‘Under’ 192 ½
Unlike the above game, this game could have some higher scoring. Despite the Jazz being inept on offense almost nightly, the Rockets have been one of the best offensive teams in the NBA. They are somewhat banged up heading into the month of December, but that has affected their defense more than anything. The Rockets are giving up over 109 points per game on the road this season, and I think even the Jazz can score on them at home.
Despite the NBA odds having the Rockets as -7 ½ favorites here, I think the total of 201 has much more value. The Jazz are much better at home scoring the ball, averaging around 93 points per game in Energy Solutions Arena this season.
These two teams played earlier in the year to a 104-93 game, which was also played in Salt Lake City. However Chandler Parsons is feeling some back spasms, which could mean that Gordon Hayward renews his hot shooting touch he had for the first few weeks of the season. This will open up the rest of the Jazz offense, which could lead to some higher scoring. The Rockets will get theirs as well. The Jazz are giving up around 100 points per game in 2013. Six of the last seven road games for the Rockets have gone over the total, and I think tonight will make seven of the last eight.
My Pick: ‘Over’ 201