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2011 NBA Playoff Odds: Pacers vs. Bulls Preview | Pick

EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF Predictions: Pacers vs Bulls Series Preview

Before nba betting fans turn their attention to NBA Playoff basketball betting events this week, we have some more good NBA first round series Previews on tap, and our man Lawrence weighs in with his picks for the series. It’s time for our weekly hoops picks for NBA gambling action.

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INDIANA vs. CHICAGO PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 1 – Sat April 16, Indiana at Chicago, 1:00 p.m, ESPN
Game 2 – Mon April 18, Indiana at Chicago, 9:30 p.m, TNT
Game 3 – Thu April 21, Chicago at Indiana, 7:00 p.m, NBA TV
Game 4 – Sat April 23, Chicago at Indiana, 2:30 p.m, TNT
Game 5 * Tue April 26, Indiana at Chicago, TBD, TBD
Game 6 * Thu April 28, Chicago at Indiana, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sat April 30, Indiana at Chicago, TBD, TNT
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Odds To Win Series
Chicago -4000
Indiana +1200

Odds To Win Eastern Conference
Chicago 7/4
Indiana 100/1

Odds To Win NBA Title
Bulls 7/2
Pacers 250/1

Injuries of Note: Chicago: Ronnie Brewer – G – Day-to-Day (thumb injury)

You look at the roster and say no way.

Even with Derrick Rose, the league’s presumed MVP, the Bulls should not be in the conversation as one of a handful of teams that can win the championship. Deng? Noah? Korver? Gibson? Bogans?

Yet there they are, entering this weekend’s playoffs with the best record (62-20) in the NBA and pretty much a lock to get at least to the second round. Chicago will have its way with the under-.500 and 8th-seeded Pacers in the first round before the playoffs start for real with an expected Eastern Conference dream semifinals that should also include Boston, Miami and Orlando.

Rose enters the playoffs averaging more than 25 points and 7.8 assists a game, even though every team in the league knows that if it can’t contain Rose, it will probably go down hard. When the Bulls positively, absolutely have to have a basket, Rose generally laughs off double-teams and gets to the rim. And this is a kid who could just be completing his fourth year in college.

Whether additional time for game prep will help the Pacers figure out a way to do something about Rose and make this series halfway competitive is doubtful, but after being stuck in the 32- to 36-win range for four consecutive seasons, Indiana is just happy to be playing meaningful games again.

“We know how good they [the Bulls] are,” says Pacers interim coach Frank Vogel. “We know it’s going to be a challenge. We know our guys are capable of beating them.” Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

At least he was ok on the first two sentences.

The Bulls beat the Pacers three of four times during the regular season, and it was a 21-point Chicago victory in late January that cost coach Jim O’Brien his job and gave Vogel a shot for at least until the end of the season.

And if Vogel did nothing else, he gave the Pacers a boost of adrenaline. On the final day in January Indiana started to get hot, and the Pacers played themselves into the bottom shelf of the playoff pantry by winning 9 of 12 games. Not earth-shattering, but it was enough of a platform to enable the Pacers to hold off the Charlottes and Milwaukees of the world and sneak into the post-season.

Now what?

The Pacers actually are somewhat of a mirror image of the Bulls, with a lot less talent. Like Rose, point guard Darren Collison initiates most of the offense. Danny Granger and Luol Deng are both terrific on the wing, and Tyler Hansbrough and Joakim Noah both make a good living with high-energy play in the paint.

This isn’t the NCAA Tournament, and an 8 seed in the NBA has a better chance of offing a 1 seed than in college. But it’s still rare, and it won’t happen in this series. Indiana had to overachieve just to get this far, and it’s doubtful the Pacers can ramp it up yet another notch and come even close to beating the Bulls and turning the NBA playoffs upside down.

Free NBA Playoff Series Pick: Chicago in 5. : Classic case of a big underdog maybe stealing Game 3 at home, but no more.

Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling expert from Massachusetts.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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