This is a classic trap game that I usually like to find a reason to be on the smart side of. On paper Philly is definitely 4.5 pts better than Chicago even in a road game. However, in this particular contest, I think we can find some good value betting on the Bulls here.
Both teams played last night. Advantage to the bulls who just played across the border in Indiana and got to take the short trip home and sleep in their own beds. Philly had to grind out a tough game of their own on the East Coast, and most likely arrived in Chicago during the late hours of the night.
Philadelphia has been battling numerous injuries lately including Embiid, Butler and others. Which also results in some of their core players logging bigger minutes than usual like Simmons and Harris which could show some negative effects on these tough back to back stretches.
Since the 2nd half of the season the Bulls have seemingly played much harder under newly acquired Coach Jim Boylen. I think he has earned their respect and you can see translate into their effort on the court compared to the 1st half of the year. The bulls have been in just about every game lately where they are just one or two key plays away from winning some tough games which will bounce in their favor soon with more experience playing together.
In fact, the Bulls have beaten the spread 5 of their last 8 games, and all 3 games that didn’t cover were within one basket. Just goes to show you they are playing hard and getting better each game.
Philly is got to be more concerned with thinking ahead. They have some serious long term aspirations this season looking to make a run to the Eastern Conference Finals and beyond. Again, health is a big issue and they need to look at the bigger picture. I think they will have a more cautious approach in the 2nd game of a B2B.
Bulls aren’t tanking as hard as some of the lower tier teams in the league. I think this could be partly because of their new coach and some new players who continue to build chemistry together. As well as trying to earn playing time and bigger contracts for next year. And coach Boylen wants to prove he is Chicago’s coach of the future.
I think in general the Bulls will be way hungrier for this game. They want to bounce back after a tough loss last night, whereas Philadelphia already got one win, and might just be on cruise control in this contest. The Bulls are also going up against Jimmy Butler, and I think that will help the Bull’s crowd get into the game early and help the home court advantage quite a bit.
Overall, I think playing at home as a hungrier group who is trying to prove they are better than their record shows, at home getting points, against a banged up Philly team who could really overlook this team in this particular situation, there is good value in taking the Bulls +4.5 tonight. Good Luck!