Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets
The Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets head to the Windy City for Game 3 on Thursday night. The Bulls are -3.5 point favorites over the Nets with an over/under point total set at 181.
Head to head, the Nets are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings while the road team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings and the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The Bulls are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall, 6-19-1 ATS in their last 26 games playing on 2 days rest and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games. The Nets on the other hand are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 2 days rest, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Talk about a turnaround from Game 1. After dominating the opening game 106-89, the Nets look like a different team in Game 2, falling 90-82 on Monday as Chicago evened the series at one game apiece. Brooklyn shot 55% from the field in Game 1 as Deron Williams and Brook Lopez led the way with 22 and 21 points, respectively. However, things changed dramatically as the Bulls picked up their defense as they held the home team to just 35% shooting, with Williams going just 1-9 from the floor for just eight points.
Here’s where it gets interesting. You would think that Chicago returning home for Games 3 & 4 would be an advantage, yet, I’m not sure that is the case. The Bulls were just 13-28 against the spread at the United Center this season, which has to be one of the worst marks of a playoff team in history. Just think about that for a second, Chicago failed to cover in 28 of their 41 home games this season, which included inexplicable losses to Charlotte and Phoenix amongst others. Now things might be different in the playoffs, but it’s you have to factor this in when making a pick for this game.
This is a difficult game to pick simply given the fact the Games 1 & 2 were so different. While playoff basketball is a different beast all together, I just can’t ignore that the Bulls were so bad at home this season when covering the spread, and saying they were just bad is being kind. I think the Nets bounce back tonight and this game goes right down to the wire.
Brooklyn Nets +3.5 Chicago Bulls