NBA Picks: San Antonio Spurs at Chicago Bulls

Tonight’s contest between the Spurs and Bulls is one of the final two games before the NBA All-Star break. San Antonio (46-9) lead the NBA with a .836 win percentage while the Bulls (37-16), listed by sportsbook as a -1.5 point favorite, are first in the Central division by 13 games over the Indiana Pacers.

The Spurs have a 6-2 SU/ATS record through the first eight games of their infamous rodeo tour and have been off since Monday’s 17-point win at New Jersey. Leading scorer Manu Ginobili (17.9 ppg) was good for 22 points vs. the Nets and that came on the heels of HC Gregg Popovich’s move to rest his superstar at Washington.

Chicago’s most recent game was Tuesday’s 106-94 SU/ATS win against Charlotte and the Bulls have an 18-7 ATS record off one-day’s rest. Chicago caught the Bobcats off a monstrous upset win the previous night against the Los Angeles Lakers and was able to out-rebound Charlotte 11-6 in the offensive zone. The Bobcats’ downfall, though, was going 2-11 (18.2 percent) from three-point land.

San Antonio is second best in the league with a .396 shooting percentage from outside the arc while the Bulls (.365) rank 11th. Chicago has been playing without leading rebounder Joakim Noah since Dec. 15 but they’ve done a fantastic job. If anything, the physical game may be what suffers most for the Spurs as they play their ninth road game in a row.

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Odds for betting the Over/Under in this contest opened at 190.5; the lowest total between these two teams since Nov. 26, 2008. The Spurs and Bulls have combined for seven-straight unders, which could have a lot to do with the low total, but have a look at recent patterns for each side:

- San Antonio has four overs in its past nine games against teams with a combined win percentage of .292

- The Bulls have played over the total six of their last eight games

Chicago was 5-1 SU/ATS in those six overs, favored by -4.5 points on average and their six opponents allow an average of 96.7 points per game – that’s just a fraction more than the Spurs allow (96.1).

The Bulls are the ones producing the points in these contests and with home court, against a worn out Spurs team, our play is on the small home favorite.

Pick: Take the Bulls

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