Chicago Sports Mob

All Boozed Up

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In a conference where, if things ended today, the Cleveland Cavaliers would be the 8 seed in the NBA Playoffs with a record of 7-11, the Chicago Bulls are certainly looking strong to enter the playoffs with a mid to high seed. In fact, they're pretty much a shoo-in for at least the 5 seed. How's that sound, Chicago?

With Carlos Boozer now back in the lineup, and players like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah balling at a high level, the Bulls are looking as good as they have since the 2006-2007 group of Ben Gordon, Ben Wallace, and Kirk Hinrich made it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Don't let the Orlando Magic win fool you. A good team with chemistry is going to best startups - just ask Miami Thrice how unfamiliarity works in the beginning. But with Chicago only 4 games out of first place, boasting a starting lineup that can hang with any team in the East, they're certainly a big player in the conference.

Speaking in terms of strict odds and taking the fan angle out of the equation, the Bulls have been on a teeter-totter when it comes to their chances. They started at around 14:1 preseason when it looked like Mr. I'll-Take-My-Talents-to-South-Beach would join up to complete the Jordan imitation. For speculation purposes, these odds were tremendous. You won't find anything that good on online slot machines or even with another sport as far as a double hypothetical is concerned.

Then the Bulls dropped to about 30:1 when they were left high and dry. Completely fair.

Upon picking up Boozer, the Bulls' odds shot back up to around 20:1. He broke his hand, and they fell back down yet again. Now, finally, Boozer is healthy, and the team can really start showing its talent. Despite a loss in Boozer's first game back with Chicago, odds-makers are feeling a bit more confident about this squad and are offering around 15:1 on a Chicago Bulls Finals appearance.

Depending on where you look, however, the odds may vary. Gambling sites offering the best online casino bonus and sportsbooks deposit matches won't toe a similar line this early in the season. Some may be underselling the Bulls' chances, while others are overhyping. Right now, I sense the mood here in Chicago is somewhere in between. We think the Bulls can go far, but need to see more before we get too excited. But realistically, the Eastern Conference is wide open for the Bulls.

The odds of the Boston Celtics finding a fountain of youth again this year are astronomical. The players chosen to plug the holes, although they're keeping the dam intact now, are as old as any players in the east - we're talking about the Big Shamrock.

With the Orlando Magic, Vinsanity has turned into mediocrity and Dwight Howard can be stopped. They are playoff-ready, but 1-8 are they really better than the Bulls come next April?

And let's not even get started on that soap opera down in Miami. Old Saint Pat, even if he decides to blow the dust off the whistle, isn't going to save that ego-fest. You're looking at a team expecting to win because they expect it - no work ethic and no real mettle to show when smacked in the chops.

Now, of course, one would still want to watch where one bets, especially on Chicago teams. Basketball if fickle and unpredictable; in contrast, it makes an online roulette game look like a sure bet. However, now that the Bulls are all Boozed up, they have one of the most complete teams in the East and should be able to cause some serious noise in the playoffs.  

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