NBA Betting Picks: Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls

Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls
Monday, 1/14/13, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  NBATV
Opening Point Spread:  Chicago -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Chicago -4
Opening Total:  185.5
Current Total:  184
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Chicago Bulls need to start playing better at the United Center

Atlanta has dropped five of its last six games, including a 93-83 setback to the Washington Wizards as three-point road favorites Saturday, while going UNDER the posted total of 189.5.  “We had opportunities, and just some plays went wrong,” stated Hawks point guard Jeff Teague.  The Hawks rank sixth in the NBA in shooting 37.8 percent from beyond the arc, but need some of their key contributors to start knocking down shots from anywhere on the court.  Lou Williams has knocked down just 10-of-33 shots over his last three games off the bench.  Atlanta is 4-7 ATS as an underdog this season, with the UNDER going 7-3 in that situation.

The Hawks earned a 92-75 victory over the Bulls as four-point home favorites in the first meeting this year, while going UNDER the total for the sixth time in seven opportunities.    Forward Al Horford led the charge offensively, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Williams contributed 16 in his first start since 2010.  The team averaged 98.0 points over the first two months, but is sitting at 90.3 in January.

Chicago has split its last four games, as it attempts to bounce back from an embarrassing 97-81 setback to the Phoenix Suns as 8.5-point home favorites Saturday, while going UNDER the total for the first time in four contests.  “We’re going on the road and beating some of the best teams, then coming home against lower-echelon teams and not competing,” stated Bulls center Joakim Noah.  He has averaged just 5.8 points in 16 career games in this series on 37.5 percent shooting.  Chicago is 4-16 ATS at home, which can’t be ignored when making your pro basketball picks Monday night.

The Bulls are 10-10 at the United Center during the 2012-13 NBA season, which includes a winning 7-5 mark versus Eastern Conference foes.  Chicago has won 18 of the last 32 meetings in this series, including 10 of 15 at this venue.  Power forward Carlos Boozer will need to continue his strong play, averaging 21.3 points and 10.9 rebounds in his last eight games of action.

Sports bettors will likely back the Bulls due to their 5-2 ATS mark in the last seven meetings.

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