The Chicago Bulls were able to take the early series lead over the Philadelphia 76'ers, but they would gladly trade that win for the return of their star player, Derrick Rose. What should NBA bettors expect from this Bulls team who is now without it's leader?
The Chicago Bulls took Saturday’s Game 1 of their best-of-seven
set against the Philadelphia 76ers, cashing as 8 ½-point NBA odds favorite with a
103-91 victory. Bulls guard Derrick Rose
notched team-highs of 23 points and nine assists, while mate Joakim Noah piled
in 12 points and 13 boards for his fourth double-double in five games.
Tuesday’s Game 2 has the foes back at United Center, with Derrick Rose now
out for the rest of the playoffs due to an ACL tear. NBA betting shops opened Chicago as 5 ½-point
‘chalk,’ while first setting the ‘total’ at 176. Early sports betting action on the Bulls and OVER
lifted the numbers to 6 ½ and 176 ½, respectively.
76ers lit up in defeat
Philadelphia trailed in Saturday’s loss by as many as 20 points,
while allowing the Bulls to connect at 51.3 percent from the field. 76ers mates Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday
united for 35 points, while both finished with seven rebounds.
Brand connected 8-of-15 field buckets, while logging four of his
squad’s five blocks. Philadelphia’s Evan
Turner and Thaddeus Young notched a combined 25 points off the bench, with
Turner adding three steals.
The battle’s 194 points soared above the ‘total’ of 175, lifting
the OVER to a 3-1 mark in this year’s four meetings between these rivals. Philadelphia was held to 39.8 percent field
shooting, including a sparse 1-for-9 day beyond the arc.
Rose’s void nothing new
Chicago found itself without Rose in its lineup for a sizable 27
games of its regular season, cashing at 14-12-1 ATS in that span. The three-time All-Star suffered a variety of
injuries, with the lack of his scoring presence (21.8 PPG) leading to the UNDER
collecting at 16-10-1.
Rose missed one of his squad’s matchups this year against
Philadelphia, with the Bulls pulling off an 89-80 victory as four-point home
favorites on March 17. Bulls guard C.J.
Watson logged a team-high 20 points in his mate’s absence, while Chicago
outrebounded the 76ers, 53-39.
Back Philly to get the
Tuesday’s contest is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET), with TNT providing
the national television coverage. The
rivals will have two days off before Friday’s Game 3, with the series shifting
to Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.
I am adding the 76ers plus the points to my NBA picks as part of the night’s card
of action, looking for a ‘zig-zag’ bounceback from Brand and Co. to cash a
ticket here. Rose’s absence did not
affect the Bulls greatly during the regular season, but a playoff affair with
three days of rest for Philly should make this a tighter battle.
Philadelphia entered the postseason with one of the league’s top
three defenses, allowing a stingy 89.4 PPG. 76ers forward Andre Iguodala ranked second in the Eastern Conference for
steals (1.7 SPG), just behind Miami’s LeBron James (1.8 SPG).
Iguodala logged two of his squad’s eight steals in March’s affair
against the Bulls without Rose present, while mate Jrue Holiday notched a
season-high 30 points. The duo should
have its chances for sizable nights again this time around, with their
surrounding cast also stepping up.
The 76ers have a 3-2 spread record in their five spots as underdogs of 4 ½
points or more, with the trio of cashed tickets coming as SU wins during
April’s final stretch. Look for Doug
Collins’ club to steal another cover here, giving the Bulls a tougher fight
than Saturday’s opener.
My Pick: 76ers to cover