NBA Pick: Denver Nuggets @ Chicago Bulls Preview
The Chicago Bulls became the first team to log their 40th win of the season over the weekend in NBA betting action. Now, they look for victory No. 41 on Monday night in an NBA TV game against the Denver Nuggets at the United Center.
It still seems odd that a team that is playing at altitude at home has a significantly better record on the road from an ATS standpoint than it does in its own building. That being said, the Nuggets are just 11-11 from an SU standpoint on the road, and that is a scary proposition going against the team that many think is the best in the league. Injuries are really starting to mount for Denver. Danilo Gallinari, who has proven that he can be one of the elite scorers in the league when he is at his best, has a thumb injury that will likely cause him to miss the rest of the regular season. Rudy Fernandez is out for the year after going through back surgery, while Kosta Koufos has a knee injury that has cost him the last two games. The good news is that Arron Afflalo is going to be back in the fold on Monday night after serving a suspension for throwing an elbow last week against the Utah Jazz. Still, with the playoff picture remaining ridiculously tight in the Western Conference, the Nuggets need to find a way to win games like this from time to time, or they could be left home for the second season.
It’s hard to say just how much of a “hot team” versus a “good team” the Bulls are. Sure, they have won four games in a row and have covered three of the four, but they have also won seven out of 80 and 40 out of 50 in the regular season. That’s absolutely a remarkably impressive stat. They are the only team in the league that has already clinched up a playoff bid, and they might already have the Central Division won by the end of the week. In the win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and CJ Watson all went crazy. They scored 23, 24, and 23 points respectively, and both Deng and Boozer had double-doubles with 10 boards apiece. What is truly amazing about Chicago is the fact that Derrick Rose has only played in 34 games this year. He has a groin problem now, and for as long as the Bulls don’t really need him, the philosophy seems to be that he is going to sit and rest up for the postseason.
The Final Word: The Nuggets are one of the rare teams in the league that have the bigs to be able to match up with all of the bigs that are going to be on the court for Chicago. We tend to think that this is a winnable game for Denver, especially knowing that Rose is going to almost certainly sit again on Monday, and we definitely are going to want to take the points.
Denver Nuggets @ Chicago Bulls Free Pick: Denver Nuggets