Philadelphia is in a neck-and-neck battle for the crucial top spot in the Eastern Conference standings with the playoffs just around the corner. The importance of that spot with a potential Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Brooklyn Nets looming cannot be underestimated. The Bulls, on the other hand, are barely still alive in the race for the play-in tournament.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the 76ers-Bulls odds.
NBA Odds: 76ers-Bulls Odds
Philadelphia 76ers -5 (-116)
Chicago Bulls +5 (-104)
Over 211.5 Points (-110)
Under 211.5 Points (-110)
Why The 76ers Could Cover The Spread
The Sixers have finally regained their health and now enter this matchup with nobody on the injury list, at least for right now. This is a pleasant sight to see with eight games left in the regular season. Doc Rivers definitely won’t let his club take its foot off the gas with the top spot in the East still up for grabs. Rivers has been in this spot once or twice and knows the importance of home-court advantage throughout the postseason. Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid will look to continue their dominance against a lackluster Chicago team.
Philadelphia has won four straight games by a combined 99 points, though the last victory was a tight one in overtime against the San Antonio Spurs. MVP candidate Joel Embiid led the way in the recent win against San Antonio with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Philly pulled off the win despite inefficient performances from Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. If Seth Curry, Shake Milton, and Danny Green can continue to space the floor, the Sixers should have no problem taking care of business in Chicago.
Why The Bulls Could Cover The Spread
The Bulls have run into some bad luck of late as leading scorer Zach LaVine has been out for some time now due to COVID-19. LaVine is having a breakout season for Chicago, and the Bulls’ future looks bright with him and Nikola Vucevic leading the way for years to come. Unfortunately for Chicago, Vucevic has been dealing with an adductor issue and was forced to sit out last game. If he is in fact ruled against the 76ers, this one could get ugly.
Truthfully speaking, Chicago will need one of the two players mentioned above to suit up in order to at least cover in this game. The Bulls will need to limit the turnovers as they’re one of the most turnover-prone teams in the league and Philly is the third-stingiest team in the league in that respect. Coby White and Lauri Markkanen will need to step up after struggling in the last game against the Atlanta Hawks. Inconsistency has been a factor for both, and it’s certainly hard to find a rhythm against this Sixers squad. The Bulls will ultimately need to play out of this world to keep this one close.
Final 76ers-Bulls Prediction & Pick
This David vs. Goliath matchup doesn’t bode well for the home team. Philadelphia is coming in as one of the healthiest and hottest teams in the league right now. Chicago could very well be without its two best players yet again and forced to send out a very shorthanded lineup. Perhaps the Sixers rest guys on the second of a back-to-back after an overtime game, but they’re fighting for the No. 1 seed. Let’s jump on this Philly line before the public sees this value.
FINAL PICK: Philadelphia 76ers -5 (-112)