Chicago no longer has anything to play for in terms of conference seeding as it wrapped up the East’s top spot with Miami’s loss to Boston last night, but tonight’s opponent may bring out a little extra in the Bulls. Derrick Rose and company will face their hated division rival Indiana at 7:00pm ET at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The latest NBA Odds have Chicago listed as a -2.5 against the spread road favorite; the game total is set at 189 points.
Chicago earned the Eastern Conference’s top seed last night with the Heat’s 66-78 loss to the Celtics in Boston. While the feat is a testament to all the hard work the Bulls put in this year, it guarantees nothing for the team once the playoffs get underway.
The Bulls have played most of the last month without reigning MVP Derrick Rose and the results of his extended absence are evident in the team’s record. Chicago has lost five of its last 11 games and desperately needs to regain some confidence and develop some continuity prior to the rapidly approaching postseason.
Indiana, which at 42-23 has the three seed in the East locked up, should provide the Bulls an opportunity to do one or both of those things this evening. The Pacers have won three of their last four against Chicago and Rose has made it known on more than one occasion just how he feels about Indiana. So, while little is at stake tonight, expect there to be some fire from both sides as pride can be as good a motivator as anything else.
Chicago proved that the last time these two teams hooked up, thumping Indiana 92-72 to end a three game skid against their rival. The Bulls limited the Pacers to 34.2 percent field goal shooting while they knocked down 9-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Rose notched 13 points and nine assists in 29 minutes; Joakim Noah posted nine points and 17 rebounds and Luol Deng led Chicago with 20 points. The Bulls completely dominated the glass in the win, earning a 60 to 32 rebound advantage and the Chicago bench outscored the Pacers bench 46 to 28.
NBA Odds Betting Trend: The Over is 8-1-1 in the Bulls last 10 games as a road favorite with a total between 185 and 190.
2012 NBA Odds Chicago Bulls vs Indiana Pacers: Provided by TopBet.com
Chicago Bulls -2.5 (-110), Over 189 (-110)
Indiana Pacers +2.5 (-110), Under 189 (-110)