NBA Basketball Betting: Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls

NBA Basketball Betting:  Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls

Interesting Eastern Conference matchup in the NBA between a couple of teams that are hard to figure out. The Brooklyn Nets enter this contest in 8th place in the conference, 1 game ahead of 9th place Orlando. They’ve lost 6 of 10 and are 8-11 on the year. Chicago is in 5th place in the Eastern Conference and are 12-8 on the season splitting their last 10 games. Chicago is coming off a blowout loss against Golden State while the Nets are coming off a blowout loss against Cleveland.

Chicago is still a very tactically sound team but so far this season their usually impressive defensive numbers haven’t been there. The Bulls are currently tied for #18 in scoring defense allowing 100.5 points per game. To some extent, a higher PPG against number is inevitable as they’re playing more uptempo with Luol Deng gone and Derrick Rose back in action. They’ve also had a tough hand dealt to them by the NBA schedule maker–they’ve played 8 of their last 10 games on the road and 7 of their last 10 against the Western Conference. They’ve played 13 of their 20 games away from home this season. Their record at the United Center isn’t impressive–2-5 SU/1-6 ATS. They’ve been a poor ATS team at home in recent years, primarily due to their style of play. They’re good enough to command a decent sized favorite price at home but as a low scoring/defensive oriented team have had a tough time covering them. Joakim Noah has been ruled out for this game–he’s a valuable defensive presence but this is a matchup that the Bulls should be able to win without him.

The Nets have a couple of injury issues as well–Joe Johnson (flu) and Brook Lopez (back) didn’t make the trip to Chicago. Reserve forward Mirza Teletovic is listed as ‘questionable’ (hip pointer) while veteran Andrei Kirilenko remains away from the team due to a personal matter. The talented but brittle Kirilenko has been rumored to be on the trading block, possibly to Philadelphia. Johnson and Lopez were out two days ago when the Nets were hammered by Cleveland. Since moving from New Jersey the Nets have performed well against losing teams but have struggled against teams over .500. That looks to be continuing this year–Brooklyn is 1-8 SU/2-7 ATS against opponents with winning records. For a team that has lost 9 of 13 anyway, the absence of Johnson and Lopez won’t help at all. The Bulls win going away.