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Betting Bulls Spurs – Spurs Return Home, Edge Bulls In Close, Physical Affair

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/10/2014 4:20:03 AM

Sports betting players should be getting ready for the second half of the shortened NBA season to begin, and Wednesday holds a massive matchup in San Antonio, where the Spurs return after a lengthy road trip. They’ll face Chicago, who play on Tuesday and then have to come from the “Windy City”, which gives San Antonio the edge, but it’s going to be a tight battle.

What: NBA Betting
When: Wednesday, February 29th, 9:00 PM ET
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Pick: San Antonio Spurs

Why Bet On Chicago Bulls (27-8 SU, 20-14-1 ATS)

The Bulls will actually open the second half of their season on Tuesday night at home against New Orleans, but going into the break, Chicago had won eight of their last 10, including two in a row. Derrick Rose isn’t putting up the numbers of last year’s MVP season, but he has been battling injuries to his toe and back, although he came back strong before the break. Luol Deng does a little bit of everything for Chicago, but the Bulls do need more from Joakim Noah, who may have been distracted by trade talks earlier in the season. The Bulls were (or possibly still are, depending on who you talk to) in the running for Orlando’s Dwight Howard, and Noah is figured to be the centerpiece of a deal. Noah is a very emotional player and it is very easy to see his play suffering because of these rumors. Then there is Carlos Boozer, one of the biggest enigmas in the league. He has the tools to be a top-five power forward in the NBA, but he isn’t assertive enough and that has been a knock on Boozer throughout his career.

C.J. Watson (concussion) should be able to return to the lineup after the break, but it doesn’t look so promising for Richard Hamilton (groin, thigh). The veteran shooting guard has played just 11 games for the Bulls this season and it has forced Chicago to try and get more out of Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver, who does nothing else except shoot three-pointers. But the Bulls still have a five-game lead over Indiana in the Central, and they’re only a half-game behind Miami in the Eastern Conference, which is a real testament to reigning Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau.

Why Bet On San Antonio Spurs (24-10 SU, 20-13-1 ATS)

Many NBA betting players didn’t give the Spurs much of a chance in the always-tough Western Conference, and Gregg Popovich has to be a frontrunner for Coach of the Year (which he has somehow won just once in his illustrious career) for keeping the Spurs in the running for the top spot: they’re currently three games behind first-place Oklahoma City, and they have a three-game edge over the defending NBA champions from Dallas in the Southwest. The most impressive part of their campaign was their performance on their annual “Rodeo” road trip as the Spurs went 8-1 on that nine-game stretch heading into the break, and that loss was a 40-point blowout in Portland in which Popovich rested Tony Parker and Tim Duncan while dealing with a few other injuries, and they rebounded for a 15-point win in Denver in the first-half finale. Quietly, Parker is having a fantastic season and some are giving him MVP consideration. That award seems to be going to Miami’s LeBron James right now, but Parker isn’t even thinking about the award, which is a microcosm of San Antonio’s philosophy under Popovich: individual accolades don’t matter, championships do.

Manu Ginobili (oblique) is back on the sidelines for a couple weeks, while Tiago Splitter (calf) will be out for the same amount of time, and T.J. Ford (hamstring) is gone for 4-6 weeks. Popovich will have to do some more juggling as he looks to keep this team fresh for the stretch run, but if anyone can manage it, he can. That just means other players have to step up, like Gary Neal, Daniel Green and rookie Kawhi Leonard. Popovich throws his younger players into the fire now, so when it comes time for the postseason, it’s just another game and this San Antonio team could scare some folks in the playoffs…if they can stay relatively healthy.

How It Will Play Out

San Antonio should be the NBA betting favorites at home, where they are 13-1 SU and 10-4 ATS, and they’ll be excited to be back on their own floor after 23 days on the road. However, the Bulls are 14-6 SU and 13-7 ATS away from home, so they’re not going to roll over for the Spurs. San Antonio is 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five meetings with the Bulls at the AT&T Center, and all five games have gone under the posted total.

This should be a relatively low-scoring game as everyone gets back into the rhythm of the game after the All-Star break (only Rose and Parker played in the All-Star game, while Thibodeau coached the East), and this could be a potential Finals preview, although they’ll need some breaks to get there. This game will come down to the last few plays, but you have to lean towards the Spurs at home simply because of their mark there and they haven’t been home for a while now. Combine that with Chicago playing a game on the previous night, and then travelling, and you should take San Antonio in your online betting picks on Tuesday.

Bulls Spurs Betting Pick: San Antonio Spurs

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