Chicago at Boston Pick & NBA Betting Tips

Posted by Aaron . on January 5, 2016 in

The Boston Celtics (19-15) head to Chicago to take on the Bulls (20-12) on Thursday, and the Celtics remain one of the NBA betting enigmas in the Eastern Conference. After all, this is a team that pushed the Golden State Warriors to double overtime (back before Steph Curry hurt his leg). Then they turned around and barely held off the Charlotte Hornets the next night. They stayed close with such elite teams as Golden State and San Antonio and then would get run out of the gym by a (then struggling) Dallas team and the Cavaliers, who (for better and for worse) remain the class of the East.

Chicago at Boston Pick & NBA Betting Tips

So what does Boston do well? They have a terrific defense, even though they don’t have a force in the center to protect the rim, because they have active defenders around the perimeter who take the ball away from the opposition. Their offense features swift passing and timely three-point shooting. Brad Stevens has received many well-deserved kudos for the scheme he has put together — and sold his team on following.

The problem for the Celtics is that, except for Isaiah Thomas, they don’t have any offensive threats who can dominate games. He is the only one who can create his own opportunities for shots in the halfcourt offense — and he’s too short to compensate when opposing defenses move taller guys to cover him in the waning moments of games. They have some other good players (Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley are having their very best seasons), but they don’t have a go-to guy — which could be a problem. They don’t have a dominant center, and they don’t have a sniper from outside.

The Bulls erased a 15-point disadvantage to take their fourth straight win.

When you think about Chicago right now, you have to start with Jimmy Butler. That’s right, the Jimmy Butler who scored 40 points against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Great game, right? That was just in the second half. He went 14 for 19 and broke the Bulls’ record for points in a half. Who had held it before him? Michael Jordan, no less, with 39. The Bulls erased a 15-point disadvantage to take their fourth straight win. Butler had to leave the court for most of the second quarter to get a stitch after DeMarre Carroll gave him an elbow, and he came back after halftime with a mission, dishing out five assists and grabbing four boards as well. Butler is emerging as a player who will not let the Bulls fail.

View national TV schedule here.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

It’s hard to argue against a team playing at home with a young star coming into his own. I like the Bulls to win this one, 102-94.