NBA Betting Picks: Chicago Bulls At Atlanta Hawks

Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks
Saturday, February 2, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: WGN America
Philips Arena – Atlanta, Georgia

Opening Line: Atlanta -7
Current Line: Atlanta -7
Opening Total: 181 1/2
Current Total: 181 1/2
Opening Money Line: Hawks -290 / Bulls +240
Current Money Line: Hawks -310 / Bulls +260

The Atlanta Hawks are 7 point favorites Saturday night against the short handed Bulls.

The Atlanta Hawks are 7 point favorites Saturday night against the short handed Bulls.

The 28-18 Chicago Bulls and 26-19 Atlanta Hawks would currently meet in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bulls lead the Central division by a half game over the Indiana Pacers, and would currently be the #3 seed. The Hawks would currently be the #6 seed.  However only 4 games separates the top 6 teams in the East.

The Bulls are coached by Tom Thibodeau, a likely coach of the year candidate considering how successful the Bulls have been without former MVP point guard Derrick Rose. Rose tore his ACL during the playoffs last year and will not return until after the All-Star Game in a couple of weeks. He has been cleared for full contract practice. The Bulls lost Friday night at the Brooklyn Nets 93-89. The Bulls only used 8 players because of injuries to forwards Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, along with point guard Kirk Hinrich. All three are listed as doubtful tonight as well. The Bulls are 19-27 ATS and the total is also 19-27 this season.

The Hawks are coached by Larry Drew. Atlanta has won 4 of their last 5 games, including 93-92 Wednesday at home against the Toronto Raptors. Atlanta is 19-24-2 ATS and the total is 23-22 this season.

The Bulls and Hawks have split the regular season meetings so far this season. Each team won easily on their own court. The Bulls have won 6 of the last 8 games between the teams in the regular season. This is the last scheduled meeting between the teams this season unless they meet in the playoffs.

Chicago is outscoring teams 94-91 this season. The Bulls are 26th in scoring and 3rd in points allowed. The Bulls are shooting 44% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. The Bulls are #7 in free throw shooting making 78.1% from the line. Chicago averages 43.7 rebounds per game and give up 40.9 per game. Chicago is 7th or better in both categories. Bulls’ opponents are shooting 42.7% from the field and 33.6% from 3 point range. They are in the top 5 in both categories. Chicago averages 22.8 assists, 7.2 steals, 5.5 blocks, and 14.7 turnovers.

Small forward Luol Deng averages 17.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Deng is probable with a leg injury. He was named as a reserve to the eastern Conference All-star team last week. Boozer averages 15.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2 assists per game. He has a hamstring injury. Noah averages 12.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.1 blocks. He has a foot injury. Pojnt guard Nate Robinson averages 11.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1 steal a game. Guard Richard Hamilton averages 11.3 points per game. Marco Belinelli, Taj Gibson, Jimmy butler and Hinrich make up the rest of the rotation. Hinrich has an elbow injury.

The Hawks are outscoring teams 96.7-96 this season.Atlanta is in the top 15 in the league in both categories. The Hawks are shooting 46% from the field and 38.2% from 3 point range. The Hawks are 6th or better in both categories. Atlanta is #27 in free throw shooting at 69.8% from the line. Atlanta averages 40.4 rebounds per game and gives up 43.2 per game. They are 23rd or worse in both categories. Hawks’ opponents are shooting 44.5% from the field and 37.7% from 3 point range. Atlanta averages 23.7 assists, 8.3 steals, 4.9 blocks, and 15.1 turnovers.

Small forward Josh Smith averages 16.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.2 blocks per game. Center Al Horford averages 16 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. Point guard Jeff Teague averages 13.6 points, and 6.7 assists per game. Forward Kyle Korver averages 11.6 points per game. Devin Harris, Ivan Johnson, Zaza Pachulia, DeShawn Stephenson, Anthony Morrow, and John Jenkins. Harris is probable for undisclosed reasons, Morrow is questionable with a hip injury, and Pachulia is out with an Achilles’ injury. Guard Louis Williams is out for the season with a knee injury.

The Bulls are 6-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 5-1 in road games against teams with winning home records. 5-2 in road games, 2-8 against Southeast Divisiion teams, 1-6 after a cover, 0-6 in Saturday games, 0-5 after their starting 5 each played more than 32 minutes in the previous game and on 0 days rest. The last 4 games have gone under this series.

The Hawks are 4-0 ATS after a straight up win, 5-1 against Eastern Conference teams, 3-1-1 overall, 4-10 against Central Division teams, and 0-6 on 2 days rest. The favorite has covered the last 4 in this series, and the home team is 4-1 ATS.

Both of these teams are banged up right now but Atlanta’s injuries are more to role players. Chicago has injuries to several of their star players. Throw in the fact that Chicago jsut played in Brooklyn last night, and the Hawks haven’t played since Wednesday. I think it adds up to an easy Hawks win.

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