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Betting Celtics Bulls – With Or Without MVP, Bulls Pull Out Hard-Fought Win Over Celtics

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 10:27:22 PM

Sports betting players have been watching players go down with injury throughout the shortened NBA season already, and arguably the biggest has been Derrick Rose of Chicago, who has been struggling with an ailing back. Boston took advantage of his absence against the Bulls on Sunday, but the Bulls will return the favor at home, even if the NBA MVP has to sit out once again.

What: NBA Betting
When: Thursday, February 16th, 8:00 PM ET
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
Pick: Chicago Bulls

Why Bet On Boston Celtics (15-12 SU, 13-14 ATS)

The Celtics’ last outing before a Wednesday night home game with Detroit was actually their Sunday showdown with the Bulls in Boston, and Rajon Rondo took advantage of Rose being out as he put up a triple-double in a 95-91 victory, posting 32 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds through 40 minutes of play. When Rondo is pushing the ball and controlling the play as he did on Sunday, the Celtics can run with anyone in the league and they didn’t even need big days from their “Big Three”, although Kevin Garnett chipped in with 13 points, 12 boards and four blocks. JaJuan Johnson came off the bench to add 12 points for the Celtics, who harassed the Bulls into a 38.6% shooting night from the floor. Rondo has been the subject of a few trade whispers as the deadline approaches, and he would be an excellent addition for a team like the Los Angeles Lakers, who desperately need an upgrade at the point position, but it remains to be seen if the Celtics would even do business with their biggest rival, and would they even really want to get rid of their engine?

Brandon Bass (knee) and Jermaine O’Neal (shoulder) both missed the Chicago game, which is why Johnson wound up with 33 minutes of play and he could be called upon again as Bass will definitely be out for the next 10-14 days, while O’Neal…well, you never know if he is going to play from game-to-game even when he is healthy. But the Celtics can overcome those injuries if Rondo takes control of the team as he did on Sunday.

Why Bet On Chicago Bulls (23-7 SU, 18-12 ATS)

The Bulls will be in action Tuesday night at home against Sacramento in their first game back at the United Center after a nine-game road trip in which they went 6-3 SU, but one of those losses came in Boston. C.J. Watson had 22 points and six assists while replacing Rose, but he couldn’t slow down Rondo at all and the Chicago offense just wasn’t in sync; experienced NBA betting players shouldn’t be surprised, though, because when you’re missing the league Most Valuable Player, it’s not going to be as easy as usual. Carlos Boozer added 22 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls, who still managed to keep it close without Rose as they battled with the Celtics from the opening tip, and every time you face Chicago, you know you’re going to be in for a fight.

However, Rose’s (back) status probably won’t be decided until Thursday afternoon, although a trip to the specialist on Monday revealed no structural damage, which is excellent news. Richard Hamilton (groin, thigh) is probably be out until after the All-Star break, but the larger issue is Rose and quite simply, the Bulls need him to be healthy and if that means sitting him out longer than he needs to, so be it. Chicago’s championship hopes hang on their hometown hero, because he draws so much attention from the opposition that his teammates benefit just from his presence in the lineup. If you have to depend on Boozer as your No.1 scoring option, you could be in for a frustrating night, although he did play well on Sunday against the Celtics. Also, Luol Deng is playing himself into game shape, and he should shoot a better percentage than his 3-of-12 performance on Sunday.

How It Will Play Out

Even without Rose, the Bulls should still be the NBA betting favorites at home, although the line won’t be as high. Chicago is 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in their last five meetings at the United Center against the Bulls with the last three going under the posted total, and this figures to be another low-scoring game.

Keep a close eye on Rose’s condition ahead of gametime because that is obviously going to influence the line and the outcome of the game. In Chicago, you’d have to lean towards the Bulls even if Rose is out because they can still defend; they just have to find some way to slow down Rondo, who is one of the few players in the NBA who doesn’t need to score to dominate, but he is much tougher to stop when he goes for 32 points. Strictly for their play at home, take Chicago in Thursday’s online betting picks. 

Celtics Bulls Betting Pick: Chicago Bulls

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