The Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls meet for the second time on the season, with the Sixers holding a one to nothing season series lead so far. The Sixers limp into the matchup down star center Joel Embiid as well as potentially Jonah Bolden. Meanwhile, the Bulls will be out Denzel Valentine, Chandler Hutchinson, and rookie Wendell Carter Jr.
Since Joel Embiid has gone down, the Sixers have actually played pretty well picking up four wins to go with only two losses. Forced to play more of a small-ball lineup using Amir Johnson at the center position, the Sixers have looked surprisingly great without Embiid. They run out a deadly scoring attack heavily reliant on their trio of remaining stars Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris. Harris has shouldered the bulk of the scoring role in Embiid’s absence while Simmons helps to push the pace while facilitating the offense. Jimmy Butler does a little bit of everything and provides a genuine two-way threat capable of guarding and stopping nearly any wing in the game.
The Chicago Bulls were supposed to be tanking for a top overall draft pick, but have recently decided to start winning basketball games. Despite still being one of the worst teams in the league, the Bulls have picked up wins recently over the Hawks, Grizzlies (twice), Celtics, and Magic. Second-year forward Lauri Markkanen has shot the ball inconsistently as of late, but on the whole, has looked to be an incredibly valuable player moving forward. Zach LaVine shoulders the bulk of the scoring role for the Bulls on most nights and has put together a very impressive 23.4/4.6/4.5 stat line on the year.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Chicago Bulls Betting Line & Over/Under
(Betting Line and Total courtesy of Oddsshark.com)
- Philadelphia 76ers (41-23) vs Chicago Bulls (18-47)
- Wednesday, March 6th at 8:00 pm ET
- Point Spread: Philadelphia 76ers (-4.5)
- Point Total: 230
Philadelphia 76ers vs Chicago Bulls Betting Pick & Prediction
Despite the fact that the Bulls have actually been winning basketball games as of late, the Sixers have proven to still be an extremely dangerous basketball team in Embiids absence. While they have been scoring at a slightly lower clip without him, the small ball lineup has been defending well and has proven to be able to hold inexperienced teams in check.
The Bulls simply aren’t good enough to dictate the pace of this game and the Sixers small ball lineup should actually match up fairly well with the Bulls. While Robin Lopez may present a bit of a problem on the boards, Amir Johnson is a crafty veteran who should likely be able to hold Lopez in check despite the size difference.
Expect the Sixers to handily pick up the win here on the road against the Bulls. However, just based on the fact that the Bulls have been picking up inconsistent wins the point total seems to be a safer play compared to the spread. Seeing as how the Sixers have been defending well without Embiid in the lineup and their offense has taken a small hit in terms of sheer production, the under looks ripe for the picking. The Bulls have occasionally picked up wins but outside of their quadruple-overtime thriller against the Hawks, usually do so in low-scoring affairs.
Pick: UNDER 230