Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Philadelphia 76ers (4-5 SU, 2-7 ATS) vs. Chicago Bulls (4-4 SU, 3-5 ATS), 8:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, November 14, 2009, United Center, Chicago, Ill.
by Ryno of

Point Spread: 76ers +6.5/Bulls -6.5
Over/Under: 188

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Coming off a 112-90 home loss to the Utah Jazz, the Philadelphia 76ers travel to Chicago for their second game in two days, as the Bulls play host.

The Sixers have not fared well in their last five games. Along with two three-point wins over the winless New Jersey Nets, the Sixers have three losses to the Pistons, Suns and Jazz in the last week. The losses to the Pistons and Suns were winnable games. The loss on Friday night to the Jazz was an ugly loss against a Jazz team that was playing without Deron Williams.

The Jazz had seven players in double figures in scoring against the Sixers. They outrebounded the Sixers, 44-33. The Sixers had five players that scored in double figures, but only one player had more than 12 points. Thaddeus Young led the team with 17 points. Andre Iguodala struggled with his shooting, going 4-for-13 for 11 points, but he still contributed in other ways with 10 assists and seven rebounds. The Sixers starting frontcourt of Young, Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert combined for 11 rebounds, while Carlos Boozer had 12 rebounds by himself.

Iguodala has been the one bright spot for the Sixers this season. He leads the team in scoring with 17.8 points per game, a modest amount but nonetheless more than three points per game more than any other player on the team. Young, Lou Williams and Marreese Speights are each averaging about 14 points per game. Samuel Dalembert continues to start at center, despite averaging only 6.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Elton Brand has been a huge disappointment for the Sixers. After the Sixers emptied the bank two offseasons ago to sign Brand, he was injured last season and is averaging 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season. If the Sixers are going to be a playoff team, they have to get a lot more production from their big men. Dalembert and Brand don’t even combine to form a solid big man right now.

Like the Sixers, the Bulls don’t have anyone scoring even 18 points per game. Luol Deng leads the team with 17.4 per game. Derrick Rose, the reigning Rookie of the Year, has had a mild start to the season with 13.8 points and 5.6 assists per game. John Salmons and Joakim Noah are each scoring around 12 points per game. Noah has been the most pleasant surprise for the Bulls, a team that has been waiting for a while now for a productive big man. Noah is averaging 11.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. He currently is tied with Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats for the league lead in rebounding.

The Bulls were looking good with three straight wins, including a 86-85 win at the Cavaliers. The other two wins in that streak were a two-point win over the Bucks and a three-point win over the Bobcats. But since then, the Bulls have lost two straight to the Nuggets and Raptors.


The Bulls go as far as Rose takes them. For the Bulls to be successful, they need Rose to have a good game. That means limiting the turnovers, getting his teammates involved, and scoring some points. If Rose can’t score points, the Bulls often struggle offensively. Deng and Salmons can score, but it’s tough for the Bulls to win games if they have to rely on the two of them. The Sixers are successful when they can get out and run in the open court. When they are forced to play in the half court, Brand and Dalembert have been awful down low, so it limits what the Sixers can do. If the Sixers can force some turnovers and get easy baskets, they can win this game.

The Sixers are 0-4 ATS as an underdog this season. The Sixers are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games. The total has gone over in 12 of their last 17 road games. The total has gone under in five of Chicago’s last six games. The Bulls are 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine home games.

Ryno’s Pick: The Sixers have been playing poorly in their last five games. Their only two wins in that span were a pair of three-point wins over the Nets, and it’s difficult to count wins over the Nets as anything worthwhile, especially only by three points. The Bulls have lost two straight but the first one was a one-point loss to the Nuggets and the last loss was the following day. The Bulls have now had some rest, while the Sixers just played at home Friday night and now have to travel to Chicago for a Saturday game. The Bulls will have the advantage down low and Rose will control things on the perimeter. Take the Bulls -6.5.