San Antonio Spurs (+1.5) at Chicago Bulls (-1.5), Over/Under 189

Haven’t posted a bet in the last few days due to travel. San Antonio enters tonight’s 7 games ahead in their division. They have won 9 of their last 11 games. In their last meeting with Chicago, the Spurs won by 9 at home. Chicago has a comfortable 13.5-game lead in their division. Chicago has won 3 straight games and enters tonight looking for revenge.

San Antonio (46-9) has rolled through the season. They are fairly healthy for this time of the season. The Spurs average 47.3% shooting with 51 rebounds and 8 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 46.1% shooting with 53 rebounds and 7 steals per game. The Spurs are one of the best teams in the league but 7 of their 9 losses came on the road. They face a motivated top-tier team on the road. This is their last game before the All-Star break. Will the Spurs be motivated tonight?

Chicago (37-16) is an excellent home team. They are 24-4 and haven’t lost at home since January 18th. The Bulls average 46.1% shooting with 53 rebounds and 7 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 42.8% shooting with 49 rebounds and 7 steals per game. The Bulls are a good shooting and excellent defensive team. They lost last time against San Antonio but won both meetings last year. Expecting a good effort from Chicago.

The Sagarin Ratings have San Antonio 97.79 and Chicago 94.92. With the 3.29 home advantage, the fair line is Chicago -0.42.

My NBA model has Chicago 96.13 and San Antonio 93.08 for 189.21 total points. San Antonio is a slightly better and more efficient offensive team. Chicago is a better defensive and rebounding team. The key variance contributor is the Spurs defensive shooting percentage allowed. San Antonio must keep the Bulls below their shooting average to win and cover.

Tonight I am taking the Bulls minus the points. Here’s why. The Bulls lost by 9 last time out against the Spurs and now are coming off a win and cover. The Spurs aren’t as effective on the road and this is the last game before the All-Star break. I modeled the game at Chicago -3.05; the betting value is with the Bulls. Bet Chicago Bulls -1.5.

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