On Monday night, the Sixers are back home to take on the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers’ five-game win streak ended with a thud in Miami on Saturday night. The loss dropped the Sixers into a virtual tie with the Milwaukee Bucks for second place in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls have lost four in a row and are one game ahead of the surging Boston Celtics for fourth place in the conference.
Let’s get into our Sixers vs. Bulls betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this March 7, 2022 matchup.
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Sixers vs. Bulls Betting Pick (March 7, 2022)
With sports betting having exploded the way it has online (and continues to do as more states like Illinois climb on board), we need to have a quick conversation about transparency.
We picked the Miami Heat -4 on Saturday night, but we also figured that the overs on Joel Embiid’s points, Tyrese Maxey’s assists and Tobias Harris’ points were all safe plays in the absence of James Harden. All three of those plays lost, as did the Sixers, and the game was an abrupt departure from what the Sixers had been doing in their prior five games, where their lowest point total in any of the five wins was 123 points. The Heat are a good defensive team, it was a road game, fine…but 82 points? With everyone but Harden playing? What happened?
Then, Sunday morning, we got our answer. With Sunday as a scheduled off-day, the Sixers did not fly home after Saturday night’s game. Instead, they stayed over in Miami, and that went about as well as you would expect.
Far be it from anyone to begrudge the Sixers some well-earned down time. They had won five in a row, and insofar as Harden made the trip and was therefore a virtual lock to go out after the game, there’s an argument that not taking up Harden’s offer might actually have been bad for team chemistry. Fine.
But know this: Had the fact that the Sixers were staying in Miami on Saturday night, and not flying home after the game, been public knowledge before tip, that line would have been Heat -7 or -8. Teams like the Sixers will justify keeping such information under wraps (to the extent possible) on privacy grounds. And that was fine when millions of dollars weren’t being wagered on every regular season NBA game.
In this brave new world, though, sports bettors are entitled to know whether the team they are backing is going to make a professional effort to win or, as was the case with the Sixers on Saturday night, whether they aren’t going to.
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Sixers vs. Bulls Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Bulls at FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Point Spread: Sixers -7.5 (-106), Bulls +7.5 (-114)
- Moneyline: Sixers -295, Bulls +240
- Total: 232.5
Bets We Like With a Sixers Win
Sixers to Win and Over 232.5 Total Points (+147, FanDuel Sportsbook)
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Well, that’s some over/under. We haven’t seen one in a Sixers game go over 230 in quite a while. It’s justified, though. Before Saturday night’s feces sandwich, the Sixers had averaged 125.8 points in the prior five outings. The Bulls are a mediocre defensive team (110.9 points per game, 18th in the league) and an above-average offensive team (112.5 points per game, 9th in the league). So it’s a ton of points, but these teams will probably make it happen.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
James Harden Over 10.5 Assists (+100, Caesars Sportsbook)
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They always know how to get you, those oddsmakers. We were looking for this one to be 9.5. No such luck. Still, Harden has averaged 12 assists in his first four games as a Sixer and he’s averaging 10.3 assists on the year. Finding an even money proposition on a Harden over is a rare thing these days. We will try it on tonight.
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Joel Embiid Over 11.5 Rebounds (-125, DraftKings Sportsbook)
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Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls’ only useful low post presence, is questionable for tonight’s game with a hamstring injury. Vucevic generally wants no part of Embiid even when Vucevic is healthy, and a big man with a sore hamstring is going to lack lateral movement and lift even more than a guard will. Embiid should more or less have his way on the glass tonight whether Vucevic plays or not.
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Joel Embiid and James Harden to Combine for Over 54.5 Points (-115, FOX Bet)
You’re exactly right. We are all in on Embiid and Harden having big games tonight. If they do, we’ll win this one. If one of them comes up short, we’ll lose. It’s a chance worth taking, though. Harden and Embiid’s combined points average this year is 56.3 points per game, and as noted above, the Bulls are not a very good defensive team and may not have Vucevic on the floor. We’re looking for another over here.
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Sixers vs. Bulls Prediction
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We are laying more points than we want to tonight, but then, when do we ever really want to lay points in the first place? With Vucevic questionable and Lonzo Ball out, the Bulls will possibly be DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and a series of journeymen tonight. If the Sixers are who we think they are, this should be a double-digit victory.
Pick: Sixers -7.5 (-110, Barstool Sportsbook)
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