Chicago Bulls +6.5 (13-14) at Detroit Pistons -6.5 (14-11) O/U 199.5 8 PM ET Tuesday December 23, 2008
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Tonight the Chicago Bulls travel to Motor City to play the Detroit Pistons. Both these teams are trailing the Cavaliers by quite a few games in the Central Division and the Pistons are reeling, as they have lost 2 straight and are only 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Bulls are trudging along around .500 and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Pistons envisioned a better record at thins point in the season when they traded for Allen Iverson, but they have been mediocre, while Chauncey Billiups has been a great fit for the Nuggets who are in 1st place in the Northwest Division. The Pistons were thought to challenge the Celtics and the Cavs for Eastern Conference supremacy, but their age may be catching up with them, as they have been far from dominant this season.
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This season the Pistons are 7-5 at home and the Bulls are only 3-11 away from the Windy City.
Hoops bookies have the Pistons as 6.5 point favorites with a total around 199.5. The Pistons are posted at -270 as home favorites and the Bulls are posted at +210 as away dogs.
The Pistons come into this game after losing to the Atlanta Hawks 85-78 on Sunday night. The high scorer for the Pistons in that game was Rasheed Wallace going for 20 points on 9/18 shooting. For the game the Pistons shot 35/75 from the floor for a FG% of 46.7. On defense the Pistons allowed the Hawks to shoot 31/74 for a FG% of 41.9%.
The Bulls come into this game after an impressive win over the Utah Jazz 106-98 on Saturday night. The high scorer for the Bulls in that game was Ben Gordon going for 26 points on 8/17 shooting. For the game the Bulls shot 41/89 from the floor for a FG% of 46.1%. On defense the Bulls allowed the Jazz to shoot 38/79 for a FG% of 48.1%.
The Bulls rank 11th in scoring this season (100.5), while the Pistons rank only 23rd (95.8 ppg). The reason the Pistons are, at least over .500 and the Bulls are under .500 is that the Pistons rank 11th in the league on D (96.2 ppg) and the Bulls rank 23rd (102.6 ppg). Neither team is great at hitting the glass, as the Pistons have a rebounding differential of -2.4 rpg and the Bulls are at -1.2 rpg.
This season bettors laying their green on these teams are losing their cheddar, as the Pistons are 11-14 ATS and the Bulls are 13-14. In terms of Over/Under games the Pistons are 13-17 and the Bulls are 15-12.
On the injury front PF’s Tyrus Thomas and Drew Gooden are both day-to-day for the Bulls, while the Pistons are reporting no significant injuries.
The Pistons will their first look at #1 pick Rose, who has played great (17.7 ppg 6.2 assists pg) and it seems the only things that can stop him are apples and knives.
The Pistons will have to play good perimeter D, especially on Rose and Gordon, who after a slow start has looked great in the last few games.
Where the Bulls are weak is their inside defense and they have 2 PF’s that are banged up, Thomas and Gooden, which does not help their cause. Luckily the Pistons are not a great inside scoring team, as C Rasheed Wallace likes to drop the long bombs and stay outside the lane.
The key match up in this game will be between the 2 backcourts. Derek Rose should use his size, as he is much taller than Iverson and Rip Hamilton. Tayshaun Prince may have to guard him tonight.
The Answer has been up and down this season, but in his last few games he has struggled and has been shredded on defense.
The Bulls are only 1 game below .500, but they are one of the worst road teams in the league. They have lost 4 straight road games coming into tonight’s contest.
The Pistons will make the playoffs, but they need to figure out how to use Iverson for more scoring if they are going to do any damage in the post season.
Whichever backcourt plays better will win this game, as neither team features much of an inside presence.