NBA Playoffs 2013: Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets, Game 5 Picks

Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets
Monday, 4/29/13, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Brooklyn -4.5
Current Betting Line:  Brooklyn -5.5
Opening Total:  180
Current Total:  180
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Chicago Bulls are a win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals
The Chicago Bulls are a win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals

Chicago has jumped out to a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, which includes a 142-134 triple-overtime victory over Brooklyn as 2.5-point home favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the total of 176.5.  The Bulls are definitely expected an emotional opponent in this affair—one that has compiled a 5-0 record in Game 5’s when playing at home.  “They’re going to be in their building,” commented Bulls forward Carlos Boozer.  Chicago is 8-5 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points, which can’t be ignored when making your NBA picks against the spread Monday night.

The Bulls have been led on the offensive end by Boozer, who has averaged 20.3 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, while small forward Luol Deng is contributing 14.3 and 7.5 in those respective categories.  Chicago is 22-18 all-time when playing in Game 5, including a 8-4 mark when leading the series by a two-game margin.  On the year, the team ranked third in the NBA in scoring defense, while allowing 87.5 points per game in four regular-season meetings with its current opponent.

Brooklyn certainly knows that only eight teams have overcome a 3-1 deficit in a postseason series, but optimism remains in the locker room.  “I mean, we know it should be 2-2,” stated Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo.  The Nets have all five probable starters averaging 9.5 points or more, with center Brook Lopez leading the way at 22.5, while point guard Deron Williams checks in at 20.0.  Brooklyn is 7-10 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points, which is important to consider when looking over the NBA betting lines.

The Nets were 26-15 overall when playing at the Barclays Center during the regular season, including a 20-6 mark versus conference rivals.  Brooklyn needs to do a better job of protecting the paint on the defensive end, but it’s limiting Chicago to 25.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Sports bettors will likely back the Nets due to their 4-0 ATS mark after allowing 125 or more points, while the Bulls are 1-7 ATS after a SU win.

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