We should be in for a great time when the Spurs take on the Bulls in the Windy City tonight. Who should we add to our NBA picks for the night?
As of now, the Spurs are favored by six points on the NBA odds despite being on the road, which goes to show you just how much they've improved recently. The Bulls may be missing a couple starts through injury, but they've still got some potency in the form of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol.
Looking at the total, we see a number of 198. Both teams are in the top 11 in terms of points scored per game on average.
The Bulls are likely to be without Joakim Noah again, which means Taj Gibson will slide into the starting lineup along Pau Gasol in the frontcourt. We know Gibson can get it done, yet Chicago hasn't been playing all that well recently, and Noah's absence, probably mostly on the defensive end of the floor, has hurt more than the public may believe.
We know Gasol isn't a great defender, so the frontcourt has looked vulnerable defensively. The positives? Gasol has been a maniac offensively and figures to have another big game tonight, but the biggest positive has been the recent play of Derrick Rose, who has looked as effective as ever. It looks like he's finally getting back into the groove, and his monster stat-lines prove that he's ready to lead Chicago again.
But, the results just haven't been all that good, to put it simply. The Bulls have lost two straight and are a poor 2-6 over their previous eight games overall, which has seen their record drop to 27-16. That's still good for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, but let's just put it this way: we'd be very surprised if Chicago didn't finish with at least the second seed when everything is over and done with.
San Antonio Spurs
There's no question the Spurs are getting back to their familar ways.
Of course, getting your best players back is always going to be helpful, as was the case with the returns of Kawhi Leonard and a functioning Tony Parker. Since the starting five have gotten back together, the results have markedly improved, and the NBA odds show it. San Antonio comes in having won four straight games, and we don't anticipate that win rate slowing down. The more chemistry these familar friends regain while competing, the better.
The Spurs were one of the few teams that were off on a busy night last night, so we don't have to worry about tiredness. They've logged four straight wins and are in a good spot to make that five this evening. Assuming no surprises from Gregg Popovich, who can be maddening with his late roster decisions, we like San Antonio, that is if we were picking a side.
While it's tempting to make a selection against the spread, we're instead going to focus on a total play. We think the OVER is well worth taking in this situation.
Why? Well, both teams have shown how effective they can be offensively when they get going throughout the season. Rose appears to be getting back to full strength for the Bulls, Gasol's been tearing it up, Butler has emerged as one of the best shooting guards in the league, and the bench has guys that can come in and contribute too. The injury to Noah hasn't even seemed to matter as much as some may have thought.
What we're getting at is they know how to bring it offensively, and that's obviously true too for the Spurs. We think we'll see a higher tempo to this game than people think, so with that in mind we'll be adding the OVER to our collection of NBA picks.
NBA Pick: OVER 198 at 5Dimes