Portland Trail Blazers vs. Chicago Bulls
The NBA odds makers have opened the Bulls as 5.5 point favorites for this visit of the Trail Blazers, while the total is at 188.
Chicago is still banged up, with both Derrick Rose and Rip Hamilton out indefinitely and Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson likely to still be unavailable for tonight.
These teams have only met once this season and it was all the way back in November. Portland won inside Rose Garden by a 102-94 score-line despite getting outscored in the paint 54-34.
We see the Bulls returning the favor tonight.
After that shocking 42-point loss to Sacramento, Chicago has responded by playing better ball. They beat Golden State 113-95 on the road and then almost topped a red-hot Denver team at home on Monday.
The loss to the Nuggets was controversial, with a game-winning basket from Joakim Noah getting disallowed. We think the Bulls are going to come out mad and set the tone early against the Trail Blazers, whom have been in a bad way lately and also have one of the weakest benches in the NBA.
Portland is just 3-7-1 ATS in their previous 11 road contests, but runs into a Chicago squad that's had a tough time at the United Center all season long.
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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Sacramento Kings
A similar spread in this game sees the Kings favored by six points, with the O/U at 212. Not too often do you see Sacramento favored, which is testament to just how bad Minnesota has been.
The Kings have actually won three of five, with wins over Phoenix, Chicago and the L.A. Clippers, all of which were at home. The victory over the Clippers were about as impressive as they come, as Sacramento shot 50.7 percent overall and 50.0 percent from three. They outscored the Clippers 38-18 in the fourth quarter on their way to the W.
Sacramento's offense is clicking on all cylinders right now – they've averaged 114.6 PPG over their last five, well above their season average of 99.7 PPG.
Meanwhile, at 13-19-1 ATS on the road this season, the Timberwolves have been a great team to fade away from home.
Minnesota is starting to get healthier, as Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko have both returned to action. However, it hasn't made much of a difference in terms of performance, as the Timberwolves have lost three of four.
They've been off since Monday's 15-point road loss to Memphis. It's been a long while since the Timberwolves won outside of Minnesota – you'd have to go back to February 11 against Cleveland.
All in all, we like what the Kings have been doing lately and the return of DeMarcus Cousins has obviously been helpful. With the second of our sports picks, we are going to add Sacramento to this two-team teaser.
4.5-Point Teaser: Bulls -1 & Kings -2 (ties win ? +101)
[gameodds]5/222204/43/us[/gameodds]The Bulls have looked better lately and we like them to scrape out a win over Portland, while the Kings, though difficult to side with under normal circumstances, are playing as well as they have all year. For our NBA picks tonight, let's add both teams to a teaser to get the job done at home.