Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are 122-point home favorites against the Indiana Pacers with an over/under total of 191 for this game. Game one of the series is now in the books and the Chicago Bulls can feel a little lucky to come away as winners over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. In entertaining fashion, the Pacers embraced the derdog’ tag and really took it to the top-seeded Bulls by playing fearless on offense and aggressive on defense. I think the intent of the Pacers was clear, if the Bulls didn’t know, the Pacers made sure it was obvious after Derrick Rose kept getting hit hard on several of his drives to the baskets.
The Pacers led for most of the game and held a 10-point lead with 3:39 left in the fourth quarter, before Derrick Rose showed once again why he’s the top MVP candidate, leading the Bulls on a 16-1 run to close out the game and take a 1-0 lead in the series. Rose finished with a game-high 39 points, but didn’t receive enough support outside of Luol Deng’s 18 points and 10 rebounds. Carlos Boozer was almost invisible, playing just 26 minutes and finishing with 12 points and just six boards while battling foul trouble.
For the Pacers, Darren Collison made Rose play some defense early in the game, making two three-pointers in the first quarter, while finishing with 17 points and nine assists for the game. Tyler Hansbrough won the matchup against Boozer, finishing with 22 points while Danny Granger heated up later in the game to finish with 24 points. The Pacers are 11-1 against the spread in their last 12 games as an underdog of 11 or greater, while the Bulls are 0-4 against the spread in their last four home games as a favorite of 11 or greater.
Game one was a bit of a wakeup call for the Bulls, who found themselves behind for almost the entire game before Rose carried the team on his back and over the finish line. The Pacers will be devastated after they let game one slip from their grasp, but at least now they know they have what it takes to trouble the number one seed. I think the Bulls take a 2-0 with a win tonight, but giving the Pacers a 12-point start is a bit too much I think.
Indiana Pacers +12 Chicago Bulls