Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 7:00 AM
If you had to choose a first round series this year that you wanted to go seven games, it probably WOULDN’T be Bulls/Nets! Both have had long stretches of poor offensive play. Neither team knows what to do with a late lead if it’s close. You don’t get the sense that either will have much of a chance to be meaningfully competitive against Miami in the second round.
And…yet…it’s still a great battle if you like tough-as-nails underdogs who refuse to give up. The Chicago Bulls were seemingly down to a waterboy and the team’s travel agent in the last five minutes of Game Six, yet still almost came back and forced overtime despite injuries and illness. Toughness personified, particularly in the form of Joakim Noah who continues to battle plantar fasciitis.
The Nets? Not so much. Anyone would pale in a “toughness” comparison to the Bulls right now. This series has been there for the taking since Game One. Only now is Brooklyn finally in position to actually take it!
*Brooklyn lost Game Two at home with a very poor effort
*Brooklyn lost Game Three on the road in an obvious bounce-back spot
*Brooklyn choked a late 14-point lead and lost Game Four on the road
*Brooklyn almost choked a very late 8-point lead against the walking wounded in Game Six
This should have been a five game series, six at most. It’s a tribute to Chicago’s toughness and Brooklyn’s inconsistency that they’re still playing…giving sports bettors an extra chance to pick a side and total winner.
8 p.m. ET CHICAGO at BROOKLYN (TNT)
Vegas Line: Brooklyn by 6.5, total of 182.5
Series Tied 3-3
Brooklyn’s covered four of the six games played so far, and it should have been five of the six! That’s why they’re getting respect in the markets even with their inconsistent play.
*Brooklyn (-4) won Game One 106-89 (covered by 13)
*Brooklyn (+3.5) covered in a Game Two loss 79-76 (covered by 0.5)
*Brooklyn (-6) won Game Five 110-91 (covered by 13)
*Brooklyn (-1) won Game Six 95-92 (covered by 2)
The “woulda-coulda-shoulda” outing was in Game Four last weekend, where Brooklyn (+2.5) failed to cover in triple overtime after blowing a big late lead.
Average Margin: Brooklyn by 4.7 in regulation
Average Total: 188.6 in regulation
We’ve had three games at each site, so that 4.7 in regulation average reflects a neutral court equivalent. If you adjust three points for home court, that would be Brooklyn -7.7 at home, and -1.7 on the road. If you think home court is worth four in the playoffs, that would be Brooklyn -8.8 at home and roughly pick-em on the road.
Has the market underpriced the Nets in the series finale? Or, did the Bulls have time to get over the flu so they can bring peak effort with their season on the line? JIM HURLEY has been working closely with his New York sources to get a read on the Nets. (Will the Nets get the flu themselves after being in such close proximity to sick Bulls?!). A side or total selection in this dramatic finale is one of many highlights of KENTUCKY DERBY DAY at NETWORK.
Check out the display ads on this website for complete details on A Day at the Races. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453. If you’ve been taking a break since MARCH MADNESS, this is the perfect time to get back in the saddle again! May features Triple Crown horse racing, the NBA Playoffs, and jam-packed daily schedules of Major League Baseball!
Back with you Sunday for more sports analysis from a handicapping perspective. Monday brings the opening of Round Two, as the Golden State Warriors visit the San Antonio Spurs. The fun never ends…and neither does the MONEY MAGIC when you sign up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!