Posted: 5/1/2012 1:17:42 PM
We all can agree that the Bulls are a good team without DRose and they certainly are still the favorite to win this series. Aside from the Heat, I don't think there is a worse EC team worse for the Bulls to be transtitioning back to life without their MVP. Philadelphia is an exceptional defensive team, who looked lost in Game 1, ultimately yielding 103 points in the loss. This season following a game where they have allowed 100+ points, the Sixers are 7-3 SU and 7-3 ATS in the following game. In these games, the Sixers are holding opponents to an average score of 85 points. In only one of the games has an opponent exceeded more than 88 points. Despite being on the road, I think the defensive intensity will be high for the visiting Sixers. And they luck out because lost is probably the one guy who can individually break down his defensive assignment.
How good are the Bulls without Rose? This season, Chicago is 17-9 SU in games without Rose, but only 13-13 ATS. Against non-playoff teams, they are 10-4 and have beat opponents on average 97-85. Against the playoff teams, the Bulls are 7-5 without Rose, but only outscoring their opponents on average 89-87. So, basically they are real good at whipping up on the bottom feeders of the league, but they seem to struggle, especially on offense, against the league's top 16.
How about the line? These teams have now played four times against each other this season, with only one of those games not including DRose. Here are the home/home equivalent lines in the four games played this year. (Note, I used 6 points to adjust over to a home equivalent number)
2/1/12 (in Phi) Chicago -8 : lost 82-98
3/4/12 (in Phi) Chicago -9.5 : won 96-91
3/17/12 (in Chi) Chicago -3.5 : won 89-80 (No DRose)
4/28/12 (in Chi) Chicago -8.5 : won 103-91
Specifically I'm looking at the game before Rose missed and the games after. The Bulls were 9.5 point favorites in a game with DRose where they won, but didn't cover. He was hurt the next game, so the line dropped 6 points to account for him out. The Bulls pulled out a victory and covered the shorter number. Shift to Game 1 where Rose is back and the line jumps 5 points. The Bulls win and cover convincingly. Now Rose is out again and the line falls 3 points... 3 points? During the regular season it dropped 6, but now only 3. And public seems to have moved this to a 2 point drop. There were not other noteable players missing from the previous game. What oddsmakers want us to see is that the Bulls were just fine when Rose was out when these two teams faced in the regular season. And they were winning 89-80 and covering the short number. Different setting for tonight's game and more at stake for sure. I think the loss of Rose plays heavy on the Bulls tonight and the Sixers ramp up their defensive pressure. And instead of catching 3.5 or even 4.5, I'm getting 7, which I'll gladly take. Certainly could be Vegas trying to lure in Sixers money, but by all public accounts, the Bulls have beaten Philly before without DRose, so they should be able to do it again.