These two teams know each other very well, but wil it be Chicago or Indiana that gets the job done tonight? Check out our breakdown of the NBA odds inside.
The Bulls are favored in Wednesday's NBA odds, but not by much. They're laying 1.5 points at most sportsbooks, with a line of 2 available here and there for those of you that think Indiana is the right side.
Considering these are two of the better defensive teams in the league, we can't be shocked to see a low total of 189 on the board. Both Indiana and Chicago are ranked in the top 11 in terms of scoring defense (points allowed per game), and we won't have some of the better scorers like Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Paul George out there on the court tonight.
Not playing their best basketball by any stretch of the imagination right now, the Bulls will be desperate to get a win tonight, especially at home against a division foe. Coming in, Chicago has dropped two in a row and five of its last six, with losses to this same Pacers team along with the Thunder, Spurs, Hornets and Grizzlies. The one win came on the road against Philadelphia, and even then the Bulls needed overtime to secure the win.
It hasn't helped that Chicago has had to deal with constant injury problems, particularly here of late. Rose and Butler remain out, though Butler and Taj Gibson have returned to practice, with both likely to return in the near future. Getting those two key pieces back will be a huge boost as the Bulls prepare for the playoffs.
With those two out, we've seen Nikola Mirotic become a lot more involved. Chicago needs guys that can put the ball in the basket, and that's something Mirotic has shown he can do on a consistent basis. It'll be interesting to see what kind of role he'll have once everyone is healthy again.
Have the Pacers finally cooled off? It looks like it, as they had been on a crazy heater (including a seven-game winning streak) before dropping each of their last two games heading into this evening.
A couple days after a bad home loss to the Boston Celtics, Indiana then got crushed by Toronto, again at home, this past Monday. In the 117-98 loss, the Pacers had no answer for Kyle Lowry, who threw up a triple double, as well as DeMar DeRozan and Lou Williams, who both put up at least 20 points each as well. The Indiana backcourt was terrible defensively and that was the team's downfall in the defeat. Offensively, the Pacers were led by George Hill, who had 23 points, with Rodney Stuckey having another productive game off the bench with 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting.
Indiana remains in a heated race for a playoff spot and currently take up the seventh spot. They are tied with both Miami and Boston right now, with Charlotte right in the mix as well for the seventh and eighth seeds. It's going to come down to the wire, so each game is of the utmost importance from here on out for the Pacers.
While there's no doubt the Pacers are playing better right in recent weeks and will have momentum, it's hard to pass up a chance to back Chicago at home with NBA Pick at such a short price.
This should be a battle from start to finish, and we like the Bulls' chances of doing just enough to get the W. Chicago has been solid at home (20-14 SU) and take on an Indiana squad that's just 12-20 on the road this season. What's more, the Pacers have dropped two straight, so they've apparently cooled off a bit.
With that said, we're going to back the Bulls to win by at least two in the Windy City tonight.
NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls -1.5 at Pinnacle