The Bulls continue to battle their way back against Philadelphia
Pointspread: Philadelphia -1.5
Total Line: 174
The Chicago Bulls head to the Wells Fargo Center this Thursday night with the intention of extending their first-round playoff series against the upstart Philadelphia 76ers to deciding Game 7 in this Eastern Conference matchup. This Game 6 clash is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on TNT.
First, Derrick Rose went down with a season ending knee injury in Game 1. Next, Chicago proceeded to drop three-straight games to the eighth-seeded 76ers to dig a 3-1 hole in this series, while losing another starter, Joakim Noah with an ankle injury. Despite all the adversity, a Bulls’ team that won 50 of 66 games in the regular season is now just one more victory away from regaining complete control of this series.
Defense along with a much better effort from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer led to Chicago’s 77-69 victory in Tuesday’s Game 5 as a five-point home favorite. It will now have to recreate that effort on the road, where it is 1-4 both straight-up and against the spread in its last five trips to Philadelphia.
The 76ers have been over-achievers all season long, but are dangerously close to an epic collapse in a series it had all but won. The cracks in Cinderella’s carriage are starting to widen with a 40.9 shooting percentage from the field and a woeful 21.5 percent shooting performance from three-point range. Things really got ugly on Tuesday night after the Sixers put-up a franchise-low 26 points in the first half. They finished the night shooting just 32.1 percent from the floor and 18.2 percent from beyond the arc.
In a lineup that lacks any true star power, players such as Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams are going to have to come up big for Philadelphia to have any chance to close this series out on Thursday night. Another key will be a much better shooting performance from Jrue Holiday. He led the team in Game 5 with 16 points but went just 5-for-17 from the floor.
The Bulls are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games on one day’s rest but just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games on the road. The total has stayed ‘under’ in their last five road games.
The 76ers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a SU loss and 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of their last six games at home.
The home team has covered ATS in five of the last six meetings and the favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last seven. The total has stayed ‘under’ in the last three games of this series but has gone ‘over’ in seven of the last 11 meetings in Philadelphia.
Even with the loss of Rose and Noah day-to-day for this game, the Bulls know that one more win takes this series back to Chicago. The clock is about to strike midnight for Philly as the reality it is an eighth- seed playing a one-seed begins to set in. Chicago 82 Philadelphia 77
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