Chicago Bulls vs. Orlando Magic
The Chicago Bulls are 4-point favorites over the Orlando Magic.Â The over/under total for the game is set at 183. The Bulls are the hottest team heading towards the playoffs and will be buoyed with their play after clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference in their 93-82 win in Cleveland on Friday. Derrick Rose finished with just 11 points, but was hardly needed as six Bulls players finished in double digits in scoring, while Carlos Boozer led with 24 points and 11 boards. The Bulls are now just one game behind the league-leading Spurs and have a great opportunity to inch closer, as they travel to Orlando to play a Magic team who will be without the suspended Dwight Howard.
The Magic are locked into the fourth seed in the East and will have to play the surging Bulls without their Dwight Howard, who was hit with his 18th technical for his reaction after getting whistled for a 10-second penalty at the free throw line. Orlando have won two straight and three of four, but with Howard sitting out the Magic won’t have a recognized center, so expect the Magic to play a faster tempo with plenty of three point shots. Unfortunately for the Magic, they will also be without Jason Richardson who is out due to injury.
The Bulls are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 road games and 20-7 against the spread in their last 27 road games against teams over .600. Meanwhile, the Magic are 5-1 against the spread in their last six as a home underdog but are 0-7 against the spread in their last seven home games. Head to head, the Bulls have won and covered in the last two meetings while the under is 7-0 in the last seven meetings in Orlando.
This shapes up as a crucial game, but only for the Bulls who can still improve on their position, while the Magic are pretty much stuck with the fourth seed. Theres much on the line for the Bulls who are simply on fire.Â I see them winning and covering easily with Dwight Howard and Jason Richardson out for the Magic
Chicago Bulls -4 Orlando Magic