Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers
The top seeded Chicago Bulls look to make light work of the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1. The Bulls are -8.5 point favorites over the 76ers with an over/under point total set at 175.5.
Head to head, the Bulls are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5, 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 vs. Eastern Conference and 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 home games. The 76ers on the other hand are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, but just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 7-21 ATS in their last 28 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
For the second straight season, the Bulls finished the regular season with the league’s best record and number one overall seed entering postseason play. Philly on the other hand looked like they were going to be a genuine contender in the East after the first two months of play. However, things quickly changed as Philly struggled on all fronts and in the second half of the season, finishing with a 35-31 record overall and the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Extra motivation isn’t really needed when it comes to playoff basketball, however the Bulls might just have some today. The 76ers did indeed finish eighth in the East, however they had a very good chance to try and move up to the seventh seed, however they rested players in the final couple of games to avoid the Miami Heat once again. Even Turner even went as far as saying that they would prefer to avoid the tougher team in the opening round. Take that as you will.
For all of the Bulls dominance over the last couple of season, the 76ers have actually fared pretty well against them, winning three of the last five meetings. Everyone knows I like a large underdog, however I think the Bulls send a message here. The Chicago players are all aware of Evan Turner’s comments and they will use that tonight. The 76ers are a nice team and they might take a game or two in this series, but today belongs to Rose and company.
Chicago Bulls -8.5 Philadelphia 76ers