The Derrick Rose saga has begun to heat up over the last few weeks. A few Las Vegas sportsbooks have lowered their Chicago Bulls Championship odds in anticipation that he will in fact return this season. Rose has been playing in full-contact five-on-five games and is reportedly already dunking. Many experts are speculating that he will definitely play this season, while others believe Rose will take the year off and not risk further injury.
Rose has said that he will not return until he is “110 percent ready” and does not mind missing the entire season. Sports bettors have been left in a state of limbo when it comes to NBA futures involving the Bulls. The team is very good without Rose and could even win a first-round series against the right team, but they simply do not have the talent to realistically challenge the Heat without him.
Not many sports experts have mentioned it over the last year, but the dirty little secret to Miami’s Championship run was that they did not have to go through the Derrick Rose-led Chicago Bulls. Yes, LeBron James played out of his mind during the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. However, would the Heat have overcome a 3-2 deficit against a Bulls team with a healthily Rose and home-court advantage? It’s a question we cannot realistically answer. The only speculation we can give is to say that the Bulls were a much better team than the Celtics were last year.
The Derrick Rose guessing game will undoubtedly continue until there is a definitive answer, so we might as well jump a head of the curve and take a look at a few Chicago Bulls futures and see if there is any value betting them based on the assumption that Rose will return for the postseason.
(Note: All odds come from Sportsbook.ag)
Bulls odds to win the Central Division: +180
Chicago is currently three games behind the Indiana Pacers for the Central Division lead with roughly a third of the season left to play. The Bulls could easily win the division without Rose as they have been playing reasonably well the entire year. It is very unlikely that Rose’s return would impact this wager much. If he were to return this season, it would probably only be for the final few weeks before the playoffs start, and he would primarily be concerned with playing himself back into shape.
Worth a bet? Maybe. The positive payout on this bet is enticing, but Chicago is not concerned about winning the division. They just want to make the playoffs with as minimal risk as possible.
Bulls odds to win the Eastern Conference: +1000
The Eastern Conference is comprised of the Miami Heat and everybody else. If Rose can return to form before a potential playoff showdown with the Heat, this wager shows a lot of value. If the Bulls and Heat end up playing in the Eastern Conference Finals with a healthily Rose, the odds will probably be much lower than +1000. Miami will definitely be favored in that potential matchup (especially because they hold the power of home court), but not by much. How high can the oddsmakers actually make the series price on a Bulls versus Heat matchup?
Worth a bet? Yes. If you believe that Derrick Rose will return this season, now is the time to take advantage of the odds.
Bulls odds to win the NBA Championship: +2000
This wager is a bit more difficult to forecast, because, even if the Bulls manage to get through Miami, they would probably be playing either the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder — two teams that they do not have much experience against. Chicago’s biggest advantage in a series versus the Heat is familiarity. They know the Miami Heat extremely well, and would be able to take advantage of any mistakes that they would make. The Bulls would not have that same luxury against the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.
Worth a bet? Maybe. Getting +2000 on the Bulls with Derrick Rose to win the NBA title would be great odds, but it would still feel like a longshot. This wager feels like something that only Bulls fans would bet on. For die-hard Chicago fans could there be anything better than having a +2000 ticket on the team to win the NBA title?
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