The Chicago Bulls need Derrick Rose more than ever. The chances are that they’ll just have to make do without him.
Time is running out for the 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player to come back from injury this season and there is an argument to be made that with Miami looking unstoppable in the East, there is little upside to rushing Rose back into action for the sake of winning a few games more in the play-offs.
Winning has proven a problem of late in his absence, however, with three losses in the Bulls last four outings, including two where they gave up an uncharacteristic average of 120 points. But the Bulls have fared a little better at home lately and they’re favoured at 1.42 to come out on top when the Portland Trailblazers come to the United Centre on Thursday night.
Portland are terrible outside of Oregon, with a 9-25 mark, and an offense which is too reliant on shooting threes. The Bulls should shut that down, but the way these teams are playing, take the over on the high scoring line of 195.5, available at 2.85. Also look at the player performance odds of 1.85 on Luol Deng to go over 15 points.
The Sacramento Kings have been piling on the points in what could be the final stretch of their stint in California’s capital. But they also earned some defensive props in clamping down on the Clippers on Tuesday in a terrific win.
They host sliding Minnesota and with the Timberwolves hobbled, go with the Kings to reign on the handicap of -7 at 1.91.
Elsewhere, Euroleague Women reaches the semi-final stages on Friday with Russian hosts Ekaterinburg facing Bourges of France and Turkish power Fenerbahce taking on Slovakian surprises Kosice.
Ekaterinburg are 1.01 to reach Sunday’s final with Fenerbahce at 1.18 to join them. However Kosice split the season series with the Turks, with both games decided by three points or less. So for an outside punt, back the Slovaks at 5.00 for any victory or even at +5 on the half-time handicap at 1.90.
Best Bet: Take the over on the high scoring line of 195.5 in Chicago-Portland, available at 2.85
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