NBA Monday Betting Action: Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls

Luol-Deng-bulls-33Orlando at Chicago
Time: 8 PM ET, Dec 16, 2013
Spread: CHI -7
M/L: CHI -300; ORL +250
O/U: 186

Odds courtesy of Bovada

This game will be the second night of a back to back for the Orlando Magic, as the team nearly staged an incredible comeback over the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday night in OKC. Despite trailing by double digits for most of the game, the Magic remained steadfast in fighting the Thunder, as Scott Brooks played his reserves heavy minutes while Jacque Vaughn left the Magic’s starting unit up.

As the Thunder went cold down the stretch, the Magic forced Durant and company into missing seven of its final nine shots. Durant blew a chance to ice the game from the free throw line but poor execution on Orlando’s final possession resulted in a Glen Davis three-point attempt as the team’s final hope. It missed. The Magic lost by just three points in a game which can serve as a confidence builder for the young team.

The Magic may be tired after playing last night and traveling to Chicago, but this is not the same Bulls team it was prior to the tragedy that became Derrick Rose’s career. The Bulls are still a very tough team and very well coached, but Tom Thibodeau can only squeeze so much out of a roster comprised entirely of role players minus the featured Rose. The Bulls are just 9-13 this season and many Bulls fans are beginning to use the word “retool,” or “rebuild,” since Rose’s injury casts a huge shadow on the Bulls’ contention chances.

Arron Afflalo has made huge strides this season into a quasi-superstar on a horrible team. Afflalo has a lot to offer as a player and is a good defender, so expect Magic GM Rob Hennigan to work offers for the 2-guard as the trade deadline approaches. This season, he’s averaging a career high 21.5 points per game as Orlando’s number one option. His days still could be limited in Orlando, though, as management may seek to further develop Victor Oladipo at the off guard position. The rookie from Indiana has been impressive this year and his athleticism should help him thrive at both guard spots, though as of the moment it is unclear where he will eventually settle in the lineup.

Luol Deng has become the number one option again in Chicago due to Rose’s meniscus tear, and while Deng is a solid All-Star, he is not the quality of scorer a team can thrive with as a number one option. The one thing this Bulls squad will be able to hang its hat on though, is its defense and rebounding. Joakim Noah, Deng, Jimmy Butler (who has struggled badly this year offensively) and reserve Taj Gibson help form a tough defensive unit. It’s Thibodeau’s coaching and defensive strategies that render this team as mediocre; with a lesser coach, the Bulls could just be flat out horrible.

Orlando Trends: UNDER 4-0 in last 4 road games; 0-4 ATS in last 4 following ATS win; 0-4 ATS in last 4 on MON.

Chicago Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 following ATS loss; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 following an SU loss of 10-plus; 0-4 ATS in last 4 at home vs teams with losing records.

Head-to-head: Magic 5-1 ATS in last 6 meetings in Chicago.

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Posted by on Dec 16 2013. Filed under Headlines, NBA. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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