Thursday night NBA and we will see the Oklahoma City Thunder travel to the United Center to take on the Chicago Bulls. The game has a start time of 8:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Current Vegas betting odds have the Thunder listed as 2.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 199.5.
Analysis: The Oklahoma City got a surprising battle from the Sixers last night as they won 123-118 and needed OT to do so. The Thunder are now 34-27 overall, but just 15-19 on the road and they still own just a 1 game lead over New Orleans in the battle for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Thunder have gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 0 days rest, but just 5-14 ATS in their last 19 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Oklahoma City has been an good offensive team this year, ranking 10th in scoring (101.8 ppg), 19th in shooting, 25th in 3 point shooting and 16th in FT shooting. The defense for this team has been decent as they come in ranked 13th in points allowed (99.1 ppg), 2nd in defensive FG% and 8th in 3 point defense.
The Chicago Bulls come in playing mediocre ball tight now as injuries have really piled up on the team of late. Chicago has gone just 4-3 in their last 7 games and have now lost leading scorer Jimmy Butler for at least 3 weeks. Now with both Butler and Rose out for this team they may be in trouble down the stretch. The Bulls still lead the Central Division, but just by a half a game over the Cavs. Chicago has gone -3 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record, but just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Bulls have been a good offensive team this year, ranking 12th in scoring (101.2 ppg), 21st in shooting, 9th in 3 point shooting and 2nd in FT shooting. Defensively the Bulls have been decent this year, ranking 11th in points allowed (98.5 ppg), 10th in defensive FG% and 5th in 3 point defense.
Pick: I will go with the Over here. The Bulls are lacking offense, but this is a horrid Oklahoma City defense that has allowed 108.6 ppg in their last 5 games. How bad is this defense right now? Well they did allow a very bad Philly offense 110 points in regulation last night. Offensively the Thunder have been unstoppable of late as they have put up 112.2 ppg in their last 5 games. The Thunder will score plenty here, but I also see them giving up plenty as well. I look for this one to put up at least 205 points.
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Handicapping Tips: NBA Betting
Bryan Leonard and Steve Fezzik, from Pregame.com discuss some handicapping tips for betting the NBA.