Favoured Bulls need win to keep NBA playoff hopes alive
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | April 5, 2016
Chicago Bulls (-2.5) @ Memphis Grizzlies
Time is running out for the Chicago Bulls, who are desperate for a win to remain in playoff contention as they visit the freefalling Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday as 2.5-point favourites in NBA betting with Coral.
With just five games remaining in their regular season schedule, Chicago enters Tuesday night’s Bulls v Grizzlies matchup at FedExForum a full two games back of the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons for the final playoff spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
It has been eight years since the Bulls last missed the postseason, recording just 33 wins back in 2007/08. The club has struggled to stay above the .500 mark this season, going 17-26 straight up since January 9th, en route to their current 39-38 record.
The Bulls have shown signs of life in recent road contests, winning three straight games away from United Center, all as betting underdogs, while posting against the spread victories in four of their past five.
However, they have struggled when getting the nod from bookmakers, and currently ride a four-game SU losing streak when favoured, failing to cover in each of their past five.
Fortunately for the Bulls, they are visiting a Grizzlies squad currently in a downward spiral that threatens their playoff hopes.
With a 41-36 record, Memphis control sits alone in fifth place in the Western Conference. But after losing six straight SU, and 10 of their last 12, the Grizzlies now find themselves just two games up on Dallas and Utah, who enter Tuesday’s action tied for seventh place, and facing the spectre of a first-round playoff matchup with Golden State or San Antonio.
The Grizzlies are also just three games ahead of ninth-place Houston, who are currently one game out of the playoff picture, but play four of their final five games against non-playoff squads.
Memphis dropped a 98-85 decision to the Bulls in Chicago on December 16th, ending a three-game win streak at United Center, but have lost two straight to the Bulls on home court, and are 2-3 SU in their past five meetings.
Portland Trail Blazers (-2.5) @ Sacramento Kings
Portland Trail Blazers, meanwhile, will be trying to move past the Grizzlies in the standings when they visit the Sacramento Kings as 2.5-point favourites.
The Blazers saw a four-game SU winning streak halted with a 136-111 road loss to the Warriors on Sunday, failing to cover as 11.5-point underdogs.
That defeat extended Portland’s current SU losing streak on the road to three games, with the club claiming just one SU win in their past 10 on the road.
Tuesday’s contest closes out the Trail Blazers regular-season road schedule, with the club wrapping up the campaign with three dates on their home floor, where they have amassed a respectable 26-12 SU record.
At 31-46, the Kings are long out of playoff contention, but have played solid ball as playoff spoilers, winning four of their past six, including victories over three opponents looking to lock up playoff spots, and are undefeated ATS in nine of their past 10.
But if Sacramento wants to keep their current hot streak alive, they must reverse their woeful record in clashes with the Blazers, that includes five straight SU losses, and a 2-9 SU mark in their last 11 against Rip City.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Golden State Warriors (-16.5)
In other NBA action on Tuesday, the Warriors gun for their 70th win of the season as they take on the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves as massive 16.5-point chalk.
The 69-8 Warriors need to go 4-1 SU in their final five games to set the NBA record for most regular-season wins.
Golden State was firing on all cylinders in their victory over Portland, which came on the heels of a 109-106 loss to Boston Friday that ended the club’s impressive 54-game home winning streak.
However, the Warriors remain a betting disappointment, with their ATS win over Portland improving their recent record at Coral to 3-6 ATS in their past nine, 2-5 ATS in their last seven when favoured by 10 or more.
The T-Wolves have faded down the stretch, averaging less than 81 points per game during their current three game losing streak and have failed to cover in each of their past five.