Boston +8 at Chicago O/U 180.5
Make no mistake, right now, Chicago is not the type of team that should be laying eight points against another Eastern Conference contender without Derrick Rose in the lineup. Chicago has been on the lucky side of the schedule equation with Rose sitting out with back spasms. Rose has missed eight previous games, and Chicago is 6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS in those contests. But when the Bulls have been asked to step up in class, it’s a different story. Against other winning teams, without Rose in the lineup, the Bulls are 0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS including a four-point loss as road favorites at Boston this past weekend.
Chicago struggled defensively in that loss to the Celtics, allowing 49% shooting from the floor. They struggled defensively again versus lowly Sacramento on Tuesday, allowing the Kings to score a season high 115 points on 47% shooting. With a losing ATS mark at home this season, this price looks more than a tad bit too high for tonight’s short turnaround rematch.
The Celtics followed up their upset win over Chicago on Sunday with a miserable showing at home against Detroit last night. The lowly Pistons won the battle of the boards by 11 and hit half of their shots from inside the arc. Paul Pierce, following the defeat: “It’s very disappointing. I am very surprised by our inconsistent play. But maybe this team needs a little road trip to get it together.” It’s surely worth noting that these veteran Celtics are a perfect 5-0 ATS as underdogs of four points or more this year, stepping up in their ‘step up’ games. That’s a trend worth riding tonight.