It was an exciting night in NBA action last night. Denver won a ridiculous game at the buzzer against the Clippers, and one that keeps some buoyancy in their inking playoff hopes and could really come back to haunt the Clippers if they finish one game back for the fourth spot.
Tonight’s action doesn’t pit any rivals or must-see playoff matchups (though technically the Hawks are the #3 seed and are hosting Indiana on the back-end of a back-to-back tonight – so be on “upset” alert there), but there are a few good games, especially from a wagering perspective. We dropped a gut-wrenching one-point missed cover last night so we will try to get back on track with a winner tonight. To do so, we will go to an old reliable favorite…
Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns -7.5 (Total: 192)
Phoenix started the year shocking the NBA world. Predicted to finish last in the West, Eric Bledsoe led them a spectacular start, both straight-up and ATS. Most people (Vegas included) kept waiting for them to plummet back to Earth. However, even after the potentially devastating Bledsoe injury, Goran Dragic and company just kept rolling along. In fact, right now they are on a five game winning streak, have won seven of eight and eight of ten overall.
Their current winning streak consists of four road wins including an impressive win at Indianapolis, something only one other team has done this season. The Suns are +36 in two games against the Pacers; a stat I feel confident no other team will match this season.
Tonight they get a visit from the mercurial Bulls. One minute it’s ‘crank up the tank machine’ the next minute its ‘this tough bunch just refuses to say die!’ It can be frustrating as a bettor to get a handle on what team will show up. Will it be the bunch that laid a fat 99-70 egg in Sacramento last night? Or do you get the bunch that went into San Antonio and won five days ago?
The Bulls are 5-5 in their last ten games, with blowout losses to Sacramento and the Clippers, blowout wins against Philly and Cleveland and a bunch of mixed results in between. However, the key differentiators tonight are threefold: First, Joakim Noah is doubtful for tonight’s game. Without him, they have NO shot. They lose their only legit player and the true tank-proof engine to the remnants of the Chicago machine. Secondly, they are on the road on the back-end of a west coast back-to-back. That situation goes well for nearly no one.
Lastly, Phoenix is at home and is a LOT better than the Bulls. They are an NBA-best 32-14-1 ATS and a sparkling 16-7 at home straight-up. Look for Phoenix to wear the depleted Bulls down and pull away for a nice win and cover tonight in the desert.