NBA playoffs odds handicappers remain somewhat skeptical of the Atlanta Hawks despite their opening round win over the Orlando Magic that stunned nearly all basketball betting fans.
The Atlanta Hawks will host the Chicago Bulls in game 3 of their best of seven Eastern Conference semifinal series on Friday night with a starting time of 7 PM ET and a telecast on ESPN. Open your Sports Gambling account and have it ready for action on the side and total of this important matchup.
The Chicago Bulls believe that they have their best shot at a NBA title since the Michael Jordan era. Rookie coach Tom Thibodeau won NBA Coach of the Year for his outstanding work this year as the Bulls won 62 games straight up and had one of the best defenses in all of basketball gambling.
Chicago ranked 2nd in the NBA for points allowed as Thibodeau employed the same defensive system that was so effective from his days as a top assistant under Doc Rivers with the Boston Celtics.
When you add a top shelf superstar such as Derrick Rose to such a fine defensive team you have the makings of a bona fide championship contender and that is why many pro basketball handicappers are taking the Bulls seriously. Chicago was one of the top board values in the NBA this year as they lost just 31 out of 82 games against the spread.
Atlanta was also under a first year coach that emphasized defense this year as Larry Drew led the Hawks to a first round upset over Orlando with the NBA lines. Atlanta was 9th in the NBA for points allowed on defense as Drew was able to coax marked improvement from his team on that end of the court after serving as an assistant with the Hawks last year.
Heading into this series with the NBA playoffs odds the Hawks had paid out in 7 of their last 10 games against the Bulls with 8 of the last 12 games between the teams going over the total. The Bulls have struggled at Atlanta with just 1 payout in their last 5 visits as 7 of the last 9 games between the teams in Atlanta went over the total.