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Chicago Sprints To Dallas On Late-Season Road Trip

Posted by Craig Parsons on 3/28/2013 5:50:56 PM

Fresh off a win that snapped the Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak, the Chicago Bulls look to keep their momentum going against a desperate bunch of Dallas Mavericks.

Chicago Bulls @ Dallas Mavericks – Saturday, March 30

Betting line:

Why Chicago Will Win

The NFL betting gurus now looking for a new point of focus over the next few months are quite likely to migrate to pro basketball. They'll find a challenging game to pick here. The calculus in this contest is complicated, but Chicago will always have a chance because of its effort level. The Bulls play as hard on a nightly basis as any other team in the league. Despite not having Joakim Noah, the Bulls beat the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. Despite not having their best player, Derrick Rose, for the entire season, the Bulls are just a couple games out of the fourth seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Bulls have one of the league’s top field goal percentage defenses. Against Dallas, which shoots well from the floor, forcing the Mavs into tough, contested shots will be a key for Chicago. The Mavericks lack much of a post game except for Dirk Nowitzki. As a result, they are one of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the NBA. Chicago is normally stout on the glass, and even though Noah is likely to miss this game or at least be hampered by an injury, not having to worry about second-chance points is big.

Another key to note here is that Dallas fouls fairly frequently, while Chicago is sixth in the NBA in free throw percentage. With less than 100 percent of its supporting cast healthy, the Bulls - minus Marco Belinelli and Richard "Rip" Hamilton as well - would love to be able to get cheap points at the line to compensate for those absences.

Why Dallas Will Win

When football betting pundits try their hand at basketball analysis, they'll probably say that in this matchup, the Mavericks have more to play for. Dallas looked dead in the water a few weeks ago, but because of the Los Angeles Lakers' inability to put together a sustained winning streak, the Mavs are now just a game and a half out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. While it is nothing you can quantify in a numerical sense, Dallas has more to play for than a Chicago team that is in the playoffs.

The impact of this game will be felt more by the Mavericks, win or lose. Chicago is fairly decent on the road but is only 11-18 against the Western Conference this season, going 5-9 on the road against the West. Meanwhile, Dallas is 16-12 against the East and has won three straight coming in. Dirk Nowitzki was out for a stretch, and even when he came back from an injury, the German wasn’t quite himself. Lately, though, he has turned it on a bit and seems re-energized by the playoff push.

The X-factor in this game may be O.J Mayo. While he’s been known to be a selfish player and take too many shots, the fact is that Dallas needs him to be great against the Bulls. Chicago does such a good job of stopping teams in half court situations; the Mavs need a guy who can go one on one and get a bucket. Besides Dirk, Mayo is that other guy for Dallas.

Who Will Win

Chicago is coming off an extreme high of beating Miami and goes on the road to play a desperate team who is at home and needs this game badly. Because the Bulls are not at 100 percent health, take the Mavs in a close one.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Dallas


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