9:00 p.m. Philadelphia (-6) at Chicago O/U: 211.5z
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-6 (-115)||-255||O 211½ (-110)|
|Chicago Bulls||+6 (-105)||+205||U 211½ (-110)|
The 43-21 76ers travel to the United Center in Chicago to take on the 26-38 Bulls on Monday night. Philadelphia picked up a 113-111 overtime win in San Antonio Sunday night, moving them up to the first seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Chicago has lost three in a row, including a 108-97 loss on Saturday to the Hawks.
These two teams last met on March 11, when the 76ers picked up a 127-105 win behind 24 points from Tobias Harris in a game that Ben Simmons and Joe Embiid sat out. The Bulls shot 14-of-29 from three-point range in that matchup, yet they were unable to overcome the 19 turnovers they committed throughout the course of the game.
Philadelphia is led by center Joel Embiid, who averages 29.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Embiid had 34 points and 12 rebounds on 13-of-23 shooting on Sunday night. The issue when handicapping games with the 76ers involved in them is that they frequently rest their superstars, especially on the second night of a back-to-back set of games such as this.
But with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern conference being theirs by just half a game, even if they do not play everyone on Monday night, the Sixers should be laser focused on picking up the win. Guard Seth Curry has recorded over 20 points in two of his last three games, including a 22-point outburst on Sunday while nailing all six of his three-point attempts.
The Bulls will be without All-Star guard Zach Lavine again as he remains sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols. Lavine leads the team in points and assists, so it has placed an enormous amount of pressure on the rest of the team to step up and it has ultimately led to Chicago’s slip in the Eastern Conference standings.
Adding to the injury issues is the fact the center Nikola Vucevic is questionable with a hip injury for this contest. Vucevic is the only other Bull besides Lavine who averages over 20 points. Veteran forward Thaddeus Young will be the No. 1 option Monday if neither Lavine or Vucevic can go. Young had a big game on Saturday in Atlanta, with 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
The most prudent idea for this game is to not overthink it at all. The Bulls have fallen outside of the playoff race enough to where they are beginning to look like they are coasting to the finish line.
Take the 76ers to win big in Chicago versus a team that has nothing left to play for and cannot prevent the Sixers from getting out and running up and down the court.
*Odds courtesy of MyBookie