Los Angeles Lakers
(16-6, 10-12 ATS)
(12-8, 11-8-1 ATS)
The Chicago Bulls might be hovering just above the .500 mark on the season, but they have a chance to make a tremendous stand and a statement to the rest of the NBA on Friday night, as the collide with the Los Angeles Lakers in a nationally televised NBA betting battle in the Windy City.
A four game losing streak to end the month of November and start the month of December really threw the Lakers off of their game, but since that point, they have won three in a row and are back in the saddle in the Pacific Division. There is absolutely no doubt about winning this division, as the men in purple and gold should walk away with no troubles whatsoever. The question comes about whether this is really a championship team once again or not. This is a critical road stretch on the East Coast. The games aren’t particularly tough, but you can bet that all of these foes are going to be giving LA its best shot. The offense has had a few lapses in recent weeks, scoring less than 100 points six times it its last eight games to drop down to just 107.8 points per game. The big duo is still getting its stats. Kobe Bryant is scoring 26.6 points per game, one of the highest marks in the NBA, and though Pau Gasol has dipped off just a tad, he is still averaging 19.8 points, 11.5 boards, and even 4.6 assists per night to boot.
Chicago has really hit its strike of late, winning three straight games to take a stronghold in the Central Division that Head Coach Tom Thibodeau keeps up. His men are about to host three straight games starting on Thursday night, and the hope is that this streak of good fortunate can keep up. The infusion of Carlos Boozer into this lineup is really starting to make a difference. In five games back, Boozer has averaged 15.0 points and 5.6 boards per game, and you know that his numbers are only getting better from here. Derrick Rose is averaging 25.1 points per game and is one of the top assist men in the league with 155 in total. He is also doing a nice job on the glass for a little man, pulling down 4.3 boards per night. As always though, it’s going to be tough keeping Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah off of the boards, as all three have double-double potential on any given night. Noah has been particularly effective once again this year, scoring 14.8 points and averaging 12.3 rebounds per game.
This is the day for the Bulls, and everyone in Chicago knows it. Rose can prove that he is good enough to compete with the best in the league, Boozer can prove that he’s healthy, the bigs can prove that they can stick around with the likes of Gasol and company… There’s just too much to prove for the Windy City to be let down in this one, especially playing at the United Center. The Bulls beat the NBA betting lines.
NBA Free Pick: Chicago Bulls pk