NBA Picks: Nets vs. Bulls

Joe Freda

Saturday, March 2, 2013 4:35 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 2, 2013 4:35 PM UTC

Eastern Conference playoff contenders hook up in Chicago Saturday night as the Bulls hosts the Brooklyn Nets (8 pm ET, WGN).

NBA Saturday Betting Preview: Brooklyn Visits Chicago

Neither team has done much to impress lately, but both apparently are headed to the post-season.

Who will come out on top Saturday night, in what is likely to be a defensive struggle?

Nets-Bulls Betting Lines

Most online sportsbooks we consulted Saturday morning were listing Chicago as a five-point favorite, with a total of 178.

Also, bettors who think Brooklyn might win this game outright can get the Nets with great NBA odds at +180 on the moneyline at Bookmaker.

Nets-Bulls: The Situation

Brooklyn had won four in a row a couple of weeks ago, but enters Saturday's game having lost three of its last four. The Nets won at New Orleans Tuesday 101-97, but fell down by 20 points early in the fourth quarter Friday night and couldn't fully recover in a 98-90 loss at home to Dallas. Brooklyn allowed the Mavs to shoot 50 percent from the floor and committed 20 turnovers.

Chicago, meanwhile, got to 29-18 a few weeks ago, but has lost seven of its last 11 games. The Bulls played really ugly a week ago in a 102-72 loss at Oklahoma City, then came home and got beat by a Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland 101-98. Thursday Chicago got 23 points, 21 boards and 11 blocks from Joakim Noah in a 93-82 victory over Philadelphia.

So Brooklyn, at 34-25, now sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of 33-25 Chicago.

Nets-Bulls: Statistically Speaking

Brooklyn ranks 19th in the league in FG shooting at 44 percent, 13th in 3-point shooting at 36 percent and 21st in FT shooting at 74 percent. The Nets also rank 24th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 46 percent, but they are out-rebounding opponents by three boards per game.

Chicago ranks 24th in FG shooting at 44 percent (rounded up), 25th in 3-point shooting at 34 percent but ninth in FT shooting at 78 percent. The Bulls also rank third in FG defense, holding opponents to 43 percent shooting, and they're out-rebounding foes by about three per game.

Nets-Bulls: Head-to-Head

These teams have split two games so far this season. Back in December Chicago won at home 83-82, while Brooklyn won 93-89 at home one month ago.

But the Bulls played shorthanded in that loss, going without Noah, F Carlos Boozer and G Kirk Hinrich. And yet they led that game heading into the fourth quarter. 

Nets-Bulls: Injury Situation

Chicago is also a bit banged up heading into Saturday's game. They're not only playing without, of course, Derrick Rose, but also Taj Gibson. And Kirk Hinrich (elbow) and Richard Hamilton (back) have both missed recent action, although Hinrich returned to score 15 points Thursday night. Finally, Luol Deng took a shot to the head Thursday, and his status for Saturday night is uncertain.

Meanwhile, the Nets welcomed Joe Johnson back to the lineup Friday night after he had missed three games with a sore foot.


Nets-Bulls: Betting Trends

Chicago is 24-34 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Bulls games have averaged 184 points.

Brooklyn is 25-33 on the totals, as Nets games have averaged 190 points.

Chicago is 16-14 SU but just 8-22 ATS at home this season.

Brooklyn is 14-12 both SU and ATS on the road.

Nets-Bulls: Free NBA Pick for Saturday

Brooklyn is one puzzling outfit; when they want to play they can beat teams like Boston, the Clippers, the Knicks, Miami, Indiana and Denver; but when they go flat they can look awfully ugly. Chicago, on the other hand, is still playing through numerous injuries, and can't seem to put much together at the moment. So in a game that could easily go either way we'll take the Nets for our NBA Picks.

Free Picks: Nets with the +5 points (-103) offered at Bet Online.  

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