NBA Picks Thursday TNT: Mavericks at Bulls Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 1/20/2011
Chicago’s three-game winning streak ended on Tuesday night in a surprising home loss to Charlotte – although perhaps not that surprising considering the shorthanded Bulls were playing their fourth game in five days. Derrick Rose continued his unbelievable play with 33 points. However, he missed a shot at the buzzer as the Bulls’ eight-game home winning streak ended. It also was the Bobcats’ second win over Chicago in less than a week.
The Mavericks entered Wednesday night’s home game on a six-game losing streak and appeared fairly destined to drop seven straight for the first time since Dirk Nowitzki’s rookie season (1999). But the Mavs surprised the Lakers, 109-100. It was Dirk’s third game since returning from a knee injury and he struggled to 5-for-15 shooting and 14 points. Dallas is 5-3 (5-3 ATS as well) in the second of back-to-backs this season.
Mavericks at Bulls Story Lines
The Bulls are not expected to get Carlos Boozer back tonight. Boozer, second on the team in scoring (20.1 points per game) and rebounds (10.1), has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle and he might not even get back by the weekend. Of course, the Bulls also are without Joakim Noah so they are small up front. Veteran Kurt Thomas has been starting at center and Taj Gibson at power forward. The Bobcats outscored the Bulls, 46-28, in the paint.
Rose, meanwhile, was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week last week. And on Monday he had the first triple-double in his career in a win over Memphis before raining 33 on the Bobcats. But Rose took a whopping 28 shots against Charlotte because there really were no other offensive threats with Boozer out and Luol Deng going just 2-for-11 from the field.
In a 2-9 stretch that ended with last night’s win, the Maverick offense had been averaging just 89.4 points per game. But then they had 109 last night despite Dirk struggling. Jason Kidd has really been struggling on the offensive end, scoring 10 total points in the past three games. However, he had a season-high 21 against the Lakers. Mavs center Tyson Chandler had missed the past two games with the flu but did manage 28 minutes last night even though he was puking on the bench. Speaking of bench, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion returned there (DeShawn Stevenson and Sasha Pavlovic started instead) and both were terrific as reserves with 22 points each. Dallas shot a season-high 55 percent from the field. All in all, the Mavs’ bench outscored L.A.’s reserves 57-31.
Chicago and Dallas met back on Nov. 19 in Big D, with the Bulls winning 88-83 as five-point underdogs. The Bulls had Noah back then and he had 10 points and 17 rebounds while Rose had 22 points. But Chicago didn’t have Boozer yet from his broken hand and Gibson was stellar in his place with 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Chicago outrebounded Dallas a whopping 59-34. Nowitzki led Dallas with 36 points while Caron Butler was the only other player in double figures with 12 points. Of course Butler is now out for the season.
Mavericks at Bulls Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Bulls opened as 3.5-point favorites with the total at 184 on NBA odds. Chicago is 18-4 at home but 12-8-2 ATS. Dallas is 12-6 on the road (and 12-6 ATS).
Dallas is 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings.
The underdog is 0-6 ATS in the past six.
The road team has covered in the past four meetings.
The ‘over’ is 9-2 in the Mavs’ past 11 vs. the Eastern Conference.
The under is 14-8 in the Bulls’ 22 home games this year.
NBA Picks for TNT Thursday: Mavericks at Bulls Predictions
Chicago has averaged 105.3 points while going 7-1 at home against teams from the Western Conference this season. But this is a tired team right now with so many games in a week and with Rose carrying so much of the load. But then again the Mavs played last night and Chandler clearly isn’t 100 percent. Still, maybe the Mavs found themselves by shifting Marion and Terry back to the bench – Chicago’s reserves won’t like be much of a match with Boozer and Noah out. Take Dallas and the points as well as the ‘over’.
Doc’s Sports NBA has been hot, with profit in 17 of the last 26 nights. We have hit eight straight NBA Game of the Week winners and we have a 5-Unit NBA Totals Game of the Week going on Saturday as we look to stay hot for NBA picks.
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