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Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls NBA Preview & Free Pick

NBA Handicapping Predictions – Magic vs Bulls

TNT will have Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic going against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls in their opening game this Thursday night.

NBA Basketball Matchup: Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls
8:00 PM EST on TNT
NBA Gambling Odds from Bookmaker
NBA Betting Favorite: Bulls -7
Over/Under: 183.5

Matchup | Preview 

Orlando has been up and down all season, but the Bulls have been the most consistent team in basketball. Chicago enters this game with the best record in the NBA.

Can the Magic keep pace with the Bulls in this one?

Dwight Howard is still a member of the Orlando Magic for now. Howard is averaging a career high 15 boards per game this year. The free throw line continues to be his nemesis.

Howard is shooting just 48.5% from the charity stripe. Ryan Anderson is in the middle of a breakout season. Anderson is averaging 16.3 points per game, and he shoots 42% from beyond the arc.

Jason Richardson, Jameer Nelson, and Hedo Turkoglu have all been inconsistent this year. These are the guys that the Magic need to get more production from on the offensive end if they are going to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Derrick Rose has been superb since his return to the lineup seven games ago. Rose is at his best when he is getting to the free throw line often, because this team plays best when is aggressive offensively. Luol Deng is shooting 43.2% from beyond the three-point line. Joakim Noah has come on strong over the past couple weeks. Noah has a double-double in six of the team’s last ten games.

He is averaging 10.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. The Bulls frontcourt is extremely deep with Noah, Boozer, Gibson and Asik. Richard Hamilton tried to return Monday, but he injured his shoulder and will be out indefinitely.

Chicago needs someone to step up and take some pressure off Rose in the backcourt.

These are two of the best rebounding teams in the NBA. The Bulls play better half court defense, and that will likely be the difference here.

Prediction: Chicago 94 Magic 86

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