It’s the turn of the Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors to try to advance into the Conference semi-finals of the NBA Play-offs on Thursday night. Both have the benefit of home advantage as they try to close out their first round series on the road.
In their favour is the fact that only eight times in NBA history has any team come from 3-1 down to progress in the post-season. But what they want to avoid is the awkward challenge of trying to win a Game 7 on the road.
The Bulls, in particular, look a little vulnerable despite their 3-2 lead over the Brooklyn Nets. Kirk Hinrich is likely out. Luol Deng and Taj Gibson have been ill and Joakim Noah is battling injury. That’s enough to embolden the Nets who revived their hopes with a 110-91 victory on Monday.
Chicago have been overcoming the odds all year in the absence of Derrick Rose and they came out on top in their two previous meetings with Brooklyn at the United Center. However, the Nets are 2.04 to break that run and survive, with the Bulls at -1.5 on the handicap at 1.91.
The ante was raised by the Denver Nuggets as they muscled their way to a Game 5 win over Golden State. With the accusations of dirty play flying back and forth, it should be an extra-spicy sixth game in Oakland.
To save themselves from elimination, Denver went inside and got production in the paint against the Warriors in a 107-100 victory and although they’re never going to be a low-scoring team, it’s a formula they seem likely to repeat if they are to force a winner-take-all decider later this week.
That could keep the total points below the line of 211, available at 1.91. With very little to choose between the teams, Golden State are 1.86 to close out, with the Nuggets at 1.96 to force a return trip to Denver.
Bet of the Day: Take Brooklyn to beat Chicago at 2.04
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