NBA Betting: Chicago Bulls @ Brooklyn Nets

Chicago Bulls @ Brooklyn Nets Thurs. April 4, 2013 7 p.m. ET

The Chicago Bulls are still trying to battle through the last few weeks of the NBA regular season without superstar Derrick Rose leading the way in the backcourt. Rose has been medically cleared to return to the floor for the Bulls, but has been reluctant to suit up until having his surgically repaired knee at 100 percent.

Before the season began, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas predicted the Bulls would be a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference with or without Rose in the lineup for the majority of the season. Although Chicago has been solid for most the year, Chicago has missed Rose’s presence in the backcourt and instead of being a high seed in the conference will likely head into the postseason as sixth seed or lower.

On Thursday night, the Bulls have a shot to improve their position in East playoff picture taking on the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center.

Even though the Bulls are a better all-around squad in comparison to the Nets, Brooklyn has been solid this season and will end the playoff drought this season with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez leading the way.

Both teams come into this matchup fairly even with the Nets winning six of the last 10 games and the Bulls splitting the last 10 games with five wins and five losses. Brooklyn may be the inferior team against a healthy Chicago squad, but that won’t be the case on Thursday with the Nets favored and likely to come out on top at home.

Prediction: Brooklyn Nets -5 1/2

The player prop bet to roll the dice on for this matchup between the Bulls and Nets is Lopez’s total rebound count. As a traditionally poor rebounder for his size and position, Lopez will likely be outrebounded by the Bulls dominant frontcourt.

Prediction: Brook Lopez Total Rebounds Under 7

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