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Chicago vs. Indiana, 04/25/2012 19:00
Point Spread: -2½/-105 Chicago
NBA FREE PICK: Chicago Bulls -2.5
The Chicago Bulls secured the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with the Heat's loss at Boston last night. I believe that has set up a golden opportunity to take Chicago as a small favorite. The Bulls are one of the few teams in the league who bring it defensively every night, and I don't expect them to completely lay off the gas in this one. Chicago is tied with the Spurs for the No. 1 overall seed, which would come into play if both teams made the Finals.
The Bulls have been without Derrick Rose for a good chunk of the season. The projected starting 5 coming into the season has played just 14 games together. Rose has missed 16 of the last 20 games. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has already hinted that we will see the starting five in action in this game.
While the Bulls are looking to find their rhythm heading into the playoffs, the Pacers have nothing to play for. There is no reason for them to match the Bulls intensity, as they need to save up their energy for the playoffs. Danny Granger is expected to miss this game and I don't expect their starters to play a lot of minutes.
I look for the Bulls to be up double-digits at halftime. If that happens, Indiana will throw in the towel in the second half. This is one play you don't want miss out on! BET THE BULLS!