NBA Picks: Wizards vs. Bulls Game 1

Jordan Sharp

Saturday, April 19, 2014 5:02 PM GMT

With the Bulls as solid NBA Odds favorites, do the Wizards have a shot at winning or covering on the road? The Wizards were a really good road value this season, but will they stay that way against the buzz saw in Chi-town?

Seven games, or quick out?
This year has been one of only a few times in NBA history that we’ve seen micro tanking by a playoff team to try and get worse. But that’s exactly what the Nets did to get away from facing the Bulls, and now they passed it on to the Wizards. The NBA Odds have the Bulls as -5 favorites, with a total of 182 ½ against Washington. 

Even though the Bulls lost Derrick Rose again, and then traded away Luol Deng, they have been one of the better teams in the 2nd half of the season. The reason has been their stifling defense, and their outstanding schemes from Tom Thibodeau.

In this series, I think Thibs is going to bring the Bulls a lot of their value, especially against an inexperienced playoff team like the Wizards. I’m sure they are already trying to figure out how to slow down John Wall, and with three days off in between their regular season finale and this game tonight, the Bulls will have plenty of time to figure out how to slow down Wall.

The Wizards have been playing solid defense down the stretch, and even though they have looked good, they do not matchup well with the Bulls. Joakim Noah will be too much for Marcin Gortat, and even the tandem of Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson will wear out Nene, who is just coming back from injury.

Even if Wall gets to be too much for the Bulls, Chicago could easily switch Jimmy Butler onto him, and I think a bigger defender against Wall could affect him negatively. Either way, the Bulls look like a great value at -5, and I think the sportsbooks are undervaluing them at home.

Compare the top NBA Championship Betting Odds

The Sharp Pick
Chicago and Washington split their season series against one another both SU and ATS, however the Bulls did cover their final two against Washington, as both games were in DC. Washington was one of the best road ATS teams this season at 26-15, and 18-12 ATS as road underdogs. 

However now in the postseason, the Wizards aren’t as undervalued as they have been in other road games this season. The Wizards can exploit softer defenses, but their offense won’t be able to crack the Bulls, especially at home.

Chicago’s Eastern opponents this season averaged only 89 points per game against the Bulls, and in their last ten games leading up to the postseason, the Bulls gave up only 91 points per game. This was even with them resting over the final two or three games of the season.

All in all, Chicago matches up well with the Wizards, and even though their chances of winning the NBA title this season are slim after their injuries and moves, they cans till best the Wiz here. Chicago is undervalued in the NBA Odds, and I am laying the points.

My Pick: Bulls -5

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