Bulls at Wizards Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 4/2/2013
How cool would it be for Bulls star Derrick Rose to make his debut on Tuesday night when Chicago visits Washington? Although I'm not sure debuting off ACL surgery against John Wall is a great idea considering he might be the fastest end-to-end player in the NBA. But to see Rose and Wall go at it, two former No. 1 overall picks who each played under John Calipari, would be terrific.
Unfortunately, it's now looking more and more like Rose won't be playing this year as the Bulls have just 10 games left in the regular season. It's pretty clear he's physically ready -- it's been 11 months, after all -- but not mentally there. And on the off chance Rose does play this year, his debut almost certainly will come at home. Chicago's next game at the United Center is Friday against Orlando.
The Bulls have clinched a playoff spot but are still trying to get to No. 4 in the East and hold home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason. They are No. 5 in the conference, 1.5 games behind No. 4 Brooklyn. Frankly, if I'm the Bulls I might rather slip to No. 6 because that means you avoid the Heat until a potential conference finals matchup. Even without Rose, the Bulls are probably good enough to beat every Eastern Conference team in the postseason other than Miami. Yes, I'm aware the Bulls are 2-1 vs. Miami this year and ended the Heat's 27-game winning streak, but the playoffs are a totally different animal.
The Wizards are going to finish well under .500 and miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year, but there are signs of hope. The team started 5-28 with Wall out injured but has been a very respectable 22-18 since the former Kentucky star made his season debut. The team is scoring 7.2 points more per game with Wall in the lineup. He has played his way into a max contract off his rookie deal, although he's still a pretty bad three-point shooter.
Bulls at Wizards Betting Story Lines
Chicago has won four of five, with that lone loss coming on a Dirk Nowitzki three-pointer in the final seconds Saturday, a game the Bulls deserved to win. Chicago led by 12 in the fourth quarter but seemed to run out of gas after that emotional win over Miami in its previous game. The Bulls bounced back from the loss with a 95-94 home win over the Pistons in a classic trap game Sunday. It was Chicago's 18th straight win in that rivalry.
All-star center Joakim Noah and guard Marco Belinelli both sat out again Sunday for Chicago. Noah has missed five straight games because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, and Belinelli has sat out four games with a strained abdominal muscle. They are being called day-to-day. Of course, Rose is also out and shooting guard Richard Hamilton is likely done for the year. All-star forward Luol Deng might be the most underappreciated player in the NBA. The guy leads the league in minutes per game and is a terrific defensive player. In the past five games, he's averaging 40.6 minutes, 23.6 points and 7.4 rebounds.
The Wizards ended a two-game losing streak with Sunday's 109-92 win over Toronto. Rookie Bradley Beal had missed five straight games and 11 of the past 14 because of ankle injuries but made a surprise return vs. the Raptors and scored 24 points thanks largely to a career-high-tying six three-pointers. Wall had 18 points and 10 assists. It was Washington's seventh straight home win, its longest there since 2006-07. The Wizards played again Sunday without starting power forward/center Nene, who has missed four straight with a bad knee. He's day-to-day. Washington was 9-8 in March and 7-5 in February. It's the first back-to-back winning months for the team since late in the 2008 season.
Wall averaged 22.1 points, 8.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 17 games during the month of March. How's this for a stat, courtesy of team's Web site: Since 1989, Wall is the fourth player to have at least 370 points, 135 assists and 80 rebounds in the month of March, joining three pretty good players, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Chris Paul.
This is the third meeting of the season. On Dec. 29 in Chicago, the Bulls won 87-77, but that was back before Wall had debuted. Carlos Boozer had 15 points and 12 boards to lead the Bulls. On Jan. 26 in D.C., the Wizards won 86-73 behind 15 points and 16 rebounds from Emeka Okafor. Noah had nine points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists for Chicago in one of his best games of the season. Deng missed that game.
Bulls at Wizards NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, the Wizards have been opened as a one-point favorite with the total at 186. Chicago is 33-39 ATS (21-14 on road) and 33-38-1 “over/under” (20-15 on road). Washington is 42-29-2 ATS (23-13-1 at home) and 28-42-3 O/U (20-14-3 at home).
The Bulls are 4-0 ATS in their past four after a win. They are 2-5 ATS in their past seven Tuesday games. The Wizards are 10-1 ATS in their past 11 home games vs. teams with a winning road record. The over is 4-0 in Chicago's past four road games. The under is 18-4 in Chicago's past 22 vs. teams with a losing record. The under has hit in 12 of Washington's past 15 vs. teams with a winning record. The Bulls are 4-1 ATS in the past five at Washington.
Bulls at Wizards Picks and Betting Predictions
I don't expect Noah to play, but Nene could even though he's not listed as a probable starter on the team's site. The Wiz are legit at home, beating up on playoff teams Memphis and Milwaukee in their gym during this winning streak. If Noah were healthy I'd lean Chicago, but since he's probably out take Washington. And the under.
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