NBA Betting Preview: Tonight's playoff match-ups

What a difference two weeks make. The Chicago Bulls have fumbled the ball since Derrick Rose was ruled out for the season and, having been second favourites to win the NBA title, they’re now not even favourites to progress past Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the play-offs.

The Sixers heaped extra misery on the Bulls with a 79-74 in Game 3 but so many of their woes have been self-inflicted with Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer falling off the map. Joakim Noah will also sit out Sunday’s Game 4, which spells even worse news for Chicago.

Take Philly at -3 on the handicap at 1.91 and take a punt under the line of 173 total points.

The Miami Heat can book their spot in the Eastern Conference semi-finals with a win in New York tonight. The Knicks will pin all their hopes on Amare Stoudemire being able to return from hand injury he sustained while sparring with a fire extinguisher.

The Knicks, admits coach Mike Woodson, have their backs against the wall. They’re a very generous 4.60 to steal victory and +8 on the handicap.

The LA Lakers will bid to go 3-1 up on the Denver Nuggets after dropping Game 3 99-84. Denver led by as much 24 as Andrew Bynum slumped in the middle before the Lakers showed their true colours. It’s worth a punt on Kobe Bryant and co. at 2.25 to hit back.

The Boston Celtics ground out a 90-84 win over the short-handed Atlanta Hawks on Friday to go 2-1 up in their series. With Tracy McGrady added to the Hawks injury list, Boston – at 1.40 – seem likely to profit.

Bet of the Day: Take Philadelphia over Chicago at 1.91 on the handicap.