Portland Trail Blazers at Chicago Bulls
Monday, 11/1/10, 8:00 PM EST, TV: NBA TV
Opening Point Spread: Chicago Bulls -1.5
Current Betting Line: Chicago Bulls -1.5
Opening Total: 190
Current Total: 189.5
Portland heads to Chicago in search of its first 4-0 start in 11 years when they face the Bulls at the United Center. The Blazers haven’t done it without some theatrics in overcoming three fourth-quarter deficits in all three games. “You don’t want to continue to have to do that, but these guys are not dropping their heads,” said head coach Nate McMillan. “They’re playing a 48-minute game.” The Trail Blazers have won five of the past six meetings between the teams and have scored 100 points in each of those games, averaging 112.2 points in that span. The team is 13-7 ATS against Central division opponents. Portland is currently listed as a small road underdog on the basketball lines page.
The Trail Blazers were led by guard Brandon Roy’s game-high 29 points in a 100-95 road victory over the Knicks. Portland has now started the season 2-0 on the road for the first time since the 1997-98 season. Roy said during the preseason he wants the ball “a lot more” this season, but the scoring has been very balanced thus far. “We’re sharing the ball,” said point guard Andre Miller. The team has also taken care of the ball, turning the ball over less than its opponent in each game this season. Portland ranked second in the league in 2009-10 with just 12.3 turnovers per game.
Chicago produced a big comeback victory in a 101-91 win over the visiting Detroit Pistons on Saturday night and was led by point guard Derrick Rose. The Bulls trailed by 13 with three minutes remaining before going on a 19-2 run to win their home opener. “I’m just taking the shots they give me,” said Rose. “They’re giving me wide-open shots, I’m going to take them.” The team knows they need to produce wins at home with the annual circus road trip looming in a couple weeks. Chicago is 44-41 ATS at home over the past three years.
The Bulls have been dominated recently in this series, but gained a split last year, picking up a 115-111 home win on February 26. Rose was the ringleader of that contest and scored 33 points. Forward Luol Deng has offered little offensively through two games and sat out the fourth quarter on Saturday night. He is 7-for-23 from the field in the first two games. One potential problem that could cause an issue in tonight’s game is the charity stripe. Chicago was trailing 70-27 in shot attempts from the line during halftime of its last game before outshooting the Pistons 26-12 after the break.
Bettors may elect to back the Trail Blazers due to their 9-3-1 ATS run versus the Eastern Conference, while the Bulls are 4-0 ATS as a favorite. The favored team has also won the last four meetings.
Another week of hardcourt action begins on Monday and there’s no better time to grab NBA expert picks from Maddux Sports.