Home » Blog » NBA Central: Bulls and Pacers Gear Up for Playoffs

NBA Central: Bulls and Pacers Gear Up for Playoffs


With only a handful of games remaining on the NBA schedule, the season is winding down for some teams, while others are ramping up the playoff-like intensity. In the Central Division, we have a little bit of everything, as the Bulls and Pacers already know they are in, the Pistons and Cavs know they are not, and the Bucks still have a little work to do to clinch their own spot. Four of those teams are in action today, and as always, we’ve got the point-spread picks to help you have a winning day in the Central Division. Check ’em out!

Cleveland Cavaliers +7.5 at Boston Celtics -7.5

Although the injury-ridden Celtics are literally limping down the final stretch of the season, they’ve still managed to play decent at home against sub.500 teams, and the Cavs are easily one of the worst. Cleveland is not limping; it’s simply laying down on the court and giving up on the season, as evidenced by its 10 consecutive losses.

Kevin Garnett is out and Paul Pierce will be a game-time decision, but Jeff Green has stepped up his game to help carry the load and against Cleveland, it likely won’t matter which five players Boston has on the floor. Take the Celtics to cover -7.5 today at home.

Milwaukee Bucks +7.5 at New York Knicks -7.5

Despite being below the .500 mark, the Bucks are just a couple of wins – or 76er losses – away from clinching the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Of course, it won’t get any easier for the slumping Bucks today, as they take on the hottest team in the NBA, on the road no less.

The Knicks have won 10 straight – their longest winning streak in nearly 20 years – and with Carmelo Anthony sizzling, it’s unlikely that the Bucks’ lackluster defense will slow him down at Madison Square Garden. The Bucks will make the playoffs, but they won’t get a step closer to clinching today. Take New York to cover -7.5 in the win.

Oklahoma City Thunder +3 at Indiana Pacers -3

It’s extremely rare to see the Thunder as an underdog to any team – even on the road – but that’s a testament to just how well Indiana is playing in the second half of the season. The Pacers have managed to keep pace with the red-hot Knicks, as both teams vie for the second overall seed in the Eastern Conference, and have won five games in a row themselves.

Today’s match-up will feature two completely different playing styles, as Indiana allows fewer than 90 points per game, while OKC is used to scoring well over 100. Expect both clubs to meet somewhere in the middle.

I actually like the Pacers here today. They’ve been so strong at home (29-8) and OKC’s been somewhat vulnerable on the road (22-15), that the venue may make all the difference in a close one today. Take Indiana to cover -3 and hold the mighty Thunder to fewer than 100 points.

Orlando Magic +8.5 at Chicago Bulls -8.5

The Bulls would love nothing more than to jump up the standings into fourth place to secure home court in the first round of the playoffs and they should receive a lot of help in that regard today, in the form of the pitiful Orlando Magic.

However, considering that the Bulls only average .5 more points per game than their opponents, we know Chicago is not a team that blows teams away, even poor ones. So, take the Magic to cover +8.5 in what will evidently be another loss for the visiting team.

  • 100%