Total Line: OFF
The Boston Celtics wrap-up the second half of a home-and-home series with the Chicago this Thursday night at the United Center after winning the first game this past Sunday at home. The tip-off for this Eastern Conference matchup is slated for 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.
Boston has a Wednesday night clash with Detroit sandwiched in- between this series, but Sunday’s 95-91 victory over the Bulls as a one-point home underdog has to be a good sign that it is on its way to reversing a slow start. The Celtics are now 15-12 straight-up and 13-14 against the spread. They are 4-5 SU on the road (5-4 ATS) and the total has gone ‘over’ in five of the nine games.
Age and injury appear to be the main culprits for Boston’s incosistencies this season as the wear and tear of an accelerated schedule has already taken its toll. Jemaine O’Neil is expected to be back in the lineup after missing some time with a sore shoulder and Kevin Garnett remains day-to-day with a hip flexor.
Chicago has raced-out to an NBA-best 24-7 SU start, but has some major injury concerns of its own with Derrick Rose still suffering from back spasms. He remains day-to-day while receiving treatment. The Bulls are a healthy 18-13 ATS overall, but are just 5-6 ATS at home after failing to cover an 11-point spread in a 121-115 victory over Sacramento at home on Tuesday night. They are 10-1 SU at home and the total has gone 4-6-1 in the 11 games.
In Rose’s absence, Chicago has shown its tremendous balance and depth with players such as Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, and Joakim Noah all stepping-up to fill the void. Defense remains the key for the Bulls as they are ranked third in the league in points allowed.
The Celtics are 4-15 ATS in their last 19 games with no days rest and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against the Central Division. The total has gone ‘over’ in eight of their last 12 games on the road.
The Bulls are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning record, but 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games played on a Thursday. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of their last five home games.
Head-to-head in this series, Boston is 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings and the total has stayed ‘under’ in the last four games in Chicago. The Bulls are 3-0 both SU and ATS in the last three games at home and extend that streak to four against the weary Celtics.
The Free Pick: Chicago 92 Boston 86
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.