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Chicago Bulls vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 2/27/15 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Minnesota Timberwolves (13-43) at Chicago Bulls (36-22)

NBA Basketball: Friday, February 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm (United Center)

The Line: Chicago Bulls -5.5 -- Over/Under: 196.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: WPWR, FSN

The Chicago Bulls look to avoid a misstep as they host the improving Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night from the United Center.

The Chicago Bulls are sitting in fourth place in the Eastern conference at 36-22 on the season but it’s not exactly cushy territory with the Bucks and Wizards just a few games back.  To complicate matters, the Bulls have likely lost star point guard Derrick Rose for the season once again due to a torn meniscus in his knee.  Of course the Bulls have been in this position before though, and they’ve really handled the absences admirably over the past few seasons.  The Bulls will need players like Jimmy Butler to step up in the backcourt, given Aaron Brooks’ inexperience running the offense and Kirk Hinrich’s inability to beat opposing point guards off the dribble.  Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah should continue to anchor things down low though and contribute to a Bulls defense that ranks 12th while allowing 98.7 points per game.

Chicago Bulls vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 2/27/15 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves are quietly starting to win a few games despite still sitting in the Western conference cellar at 13-43.  The road hasn’t been kind to the TWolves as they enter this game with a road record of just 5-22.  The TWolves managed to pick up a big win last time out, crushing the Wizards 97-77.  Kevin Garnett enjoyed an emotional return to the team he started out with in the win, but scored just five points while collecting eight rebounds over 19 minutes.  The real keys to this team are PG Ricky Rubio and the recipients of his assists in SG Kevin Martin, SF Andrew Wiggins and PF Nikola Pekovic.  The Timberwolves are definitely stronger after the return of Rubio from injury, but the defense is questionable at best allowing 105.8 points per game to rank 29th in the league.

The Bulls can definitely win without Rose as they’ve proven time and time again but I’ll take my chance with the visitors in this spot as a potential letdown game for the home side.

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Minnesota Timberwolves +5.5 (1 unit)

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