After making his return to the court last night, LaMarcus Aldridge is back to questionable tonight. However it does not seem to be injury related, more so his soreness on the second night of a back to back.
The Chicago Bulls come in as -4 ½ favorites in the NBA Odds, with a total of 188, and while the Bulls haven’t been great ATS lately, they would become a significant value if Aldridge were ruled out of this game. Personally, (This is just speculation) I think he plays tonight, but as always, make sure you double check his status heading in. I think the play is downgraded slightly if Aldridge plays, but if he ends up sitting on the second night of a back to back, the Bulls are probably the best value play of all 12 games.
Chicago’s defense will ensure Aldridge and the rest of the Blazers can’t play their style of basketball, and even though the Blazers have been good ATS against the Eastern Conference this season whether they are at home or on the road, they are only 3-3 SU and ATS versus the East in their last six games. Those six games happen to be their six most recent games as well.
Joakim Noah will lock down Aldridge tonight if he takes the floor, and coming back to the team that drafted him and then foolishly traded him for Tyrus Thomas, I doubt Aldridge has a big game here. The Blazers did beat the Bulls earlier in the season SU in Portland, however the Bulls covered that matchup. This game is infamous, because it was the game in which Derrick Rose went down with his torn meniscus.
The Blazers don’t have a whole lot of incentive to play Aldridge tonight if he is even the slightest bit sore. Portland has little chance of moving up in the West standings with only nine games to go. They are a full four games back of the 4th seed, and although they are only one game up on the Warriors, the Blazers also have a five game stretch coming up against lottery teams. They need to have Aldridge as healthy as possible heading into the playoffs, and since home court is almost impossible to get, the Blazers might be more careful with their franchise player.
The Sharp Pick
Even though the Blazers are 11-8 ATS this season when playing on no rest, they have lost their last two games on no rest both SU and ATS, and both of them were away-away back to backs like this one. The Bulls are just slightly undervalued in the NBA Odds if Aldridge does play, and at -4 ½, they are one of my favorite plays tonight.
In their last nine road games, the Blazers are only 2-7 SU and 4-5 ATS. Chicago has not been doing well ATS in their last six games despite winning and covering against the Pacers a few nights ago. They snapped their five game ATS losing streak then, and I think they could hold the best value for our NBA picks here.
Damian Lillard has not been great on the road this season, and the Bulls are a very good defensive team. The Bulls are only allowing about 96 points per game to the West this season, and they are giving up less than 90 points per game this season when playing at the United Center. Chicago has had three days off from their last game, and they are 7-6 ATS this season when that happens. Lay the points tonight in the NBA Odds.
My Pick: Bulls -4 ½