Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Chicago +5 over Brooklyn
8:10 PM EST. The Nets are a team that is often in our sights as a fade target because they are a pretender masquerading as a contender. They are a team that has elite talent but is not better than the sum of its parts. Brooklyn is the best team in New York, which brings a ton of attention. With that attention and the market’s perception, the Nets are often a team that is totally overrated and overvalued. That is once again the case tonight.
The Nets have won 12 games in a row and 16 of their last 17. It’s an incredible run, no doubt, but a closer look shows that Brooklyn has not only played a middling Strength of Schedule (SOS) that ranks 15th, but the Nets are also just 3-7 against top 10 competition. Versus top 16 teams, Brooklyn is 10-8, which is better, but still not elite. Meanwhile, the team they face tonight has been through the meat grinder.
The Bulls have played the third ranked SOS, which is a big reason why they are just 16-21. When you consider Chicago not only has a better record against the top 10 (6-9), and is a top 16 team, it is almost absurd that the Bulls are priced in this range on their home court.
Chicago has been a tough luck loser in its last two games, both against the Cavaliers (a top 10 side). On New Year’s Eve, the Bulls were edged out 103-102 in a game they played really well in (obviously) and that solid play continued in the rematch in Cleveland where Chicago was a 4-point pooch. The Bulls and Cavs would head to overtime deadlocked at 130, but Cleveland would outscore Chicago 15-4 in the OT frame. It’s not out of line to suggest the Bulls deserved a better fate in one or both of those games.
Chicago could easily have two more top 10 wins on their résumé had a bounce or two gone its way. Instead, all the market sees is back to back to losses with the mighty Nets rolling into Chi-Town next. We see tremendous value in a home side that is totally under the radar and perfectly capable of snapping the Nets win streak. Invest.
Chicago +5 -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)