Wizards, Bulls to go ‘over’ in Rematch is the NBA Pick

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 5:51 PM GMT

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Tuesday.

 

Expect a different total result Wednesday night in an NBA rematch from last week when the Washington Wizards (26-12, 9-8 away) pay a visit to the Chicago Bulls (26-13, 12-8 home) in a very nice Eastern Conference matchup from the United Center in Chicago, IL at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 194½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -107.


Teams Went ‘under’ in DC Friday
This is a matchup of the current two-seed and four-seed in the Eastern Conference. The irony is that the second seeded Wizards do not even lead their division as at 26-13 they still trail the top-seeded 30-9 Atlanta Hawks by four games in the Southeast Division with both teams being winning NBA picks last night. The fourth seeded Bulls do lead the Central Division by six games over the surprising Milwaukee Bucks, with the Cleveland Cavaliers seven back in third.

This is a rematch from Friday night in our nation’s capital when the Wizards defeated the Bulls 102-86 with that contest staying ‘under’ the closing total of 195½. The posted total on this contest is one point lower, but we feel there is sufficient reason to expect a higher scoring game that gives value to the ‘over’ at this slightly reduced number.


Bulls Play Different Pace at Home
For starters, the Bulls are playing at an entirely different pace at home this year than they are on the road, in fact playing at an entirely different pace than the Bulls have ever played since the defensive-minded Tom Thibodeau tool over as head coach. For an illustration look back no further than Chicago’s last game on Monday, when the Bulls lost a 121-114 shootout here in the Windy City to the Orlando Magic, getting upset as 11½-point favorites.

High scoring games like that have become the norm at home rather than the exception this season, as while the Bulls have more closely resembled the gritty, defensive-minded teams of recent seasons on the road this year, they are uncharacteristically averaging 105.0 points per game at home while also uncharacteristically surrendering 102.6 points per contest!

Now it is not as if the Bulls are either shooting an outrageous percentage (44.5) at home or allowing one (43.0), but they are playing at an extremely faster pace in Chicago than past Thibodeau teams. To wit, the Bulls are up to 17th in Pace Rating overall this season at 96.1 possessions per game compared to ranking 28th with 92.7 possessions last season, and most of that increases tempo has come at home.


Beat Spurs Last Night
The Wizards are playing on a back-to-back after somewhat emotionally beating the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs 101-93 last night, snapping a 17-game head-to-head losing streak to the Spurs that stretched all the way back to 2006. That could potentially lead to a letdown here, and many times that manifests itself in decreases intensity on the defensive end.

All letdown spots aside, the Wizards are sixth in the NBA in points against yielding 97.5 points per game, but they are allowing an overall field goal percentage of 44.3 percent (ninth in the league) and are only 15th in three-point defense at 35.2 percent, so he Bulls can still score here by quickening the pace to get extra possessions.

Furthermore the Wizards’ points against rises to 100.6 on the road, and when you add in the 96.1 points they are averaging themselves away from home, that combined average o 196.7 points would already be good enough to go ‘over’ this total. Even more distressing is that Washington allows 47.0 percent shooting overall on the road including a generous 38.1 percent beyond the three-point arc.


Great ‘over’ Record at Home
Finally, if you have been paying attention it should come as no surprise that the ‘over’ is a lucrative 14-6, 70.0 percent in all Chicago home games this season as the books have been a bit slow to adjust to the Bulls’ faster pace at home. For good measure the ‘over’ is also 4-1 in the last five meetings between these teams at the United Center.

We see no reason to expect otherwise tonight, so unlike the last meeting in Washington last week, look for the Wizards and Bulls to go ‘over’ the total in Chicago on Wednesday.

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NBA Pick: Wizards, Bulls ‘over’ 194½ (-110)