All studies show the best indicator of a team's playoff success isn't their record in close games, but a team's ability to blow other teams out while avoiding getting blow out -- moreso than beating elite teams. People who say otherwise are actively lying to you.
Bulls Mathematical Favorites to Win Championship
That said, the Bulls (53-19) are continuing to spank competition as games around the league get tighter.
Basketball-Reference.com's plus-minus ratings -- adjusted for strength of schedule -- are updated every Friday and had the Bulls at #1 for the first time this season, despite a relatively weak schedule. John Hollinger's playoff odds, based on simulations, has the Bulls an overwhelming 31.1% favorite to win the NBA championship over the tied-at-11.6% Celtics (51-21) and Lakers (53-20) Hollinger's power rankings, which weigh recent games over earlier games, has had the Bulls at the top for almost a week now.
The more analytical subjective rakings -- i.e. Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk and Eric Pincus at HoopsWorld have the Bulls at #2 overall behind the Lakers, which seems reasonable. I'm not even going to entertain discussing the rankings of people who just yank shit out of thin air and vomit them out, peddling their biased word jumbles for analysis.
The Bulls' two-game lead for the top seed in the Eastern Conference has completely shifted the balance of power to their favor. No slight on the Magic, but avoiding the Celtics and Heat in the first two rounds as those two play each other are highly favorable for Chicago. But, as the subjective rankings suggest, without homecourt against the Lakers, it's tough to buy the Bulls winning a title this season. Also, it's very tough to shake the possibility that all four top East teams are capable of beating each other in the playoffs, so it's jibberish -- in my opinion -- to call anyone a definitive favorite. That said, all reasonable standards grant the Bulls that honor right now.
I linked to it today's Horny Notes, but it's worth repeating: Doug Thonus' look at the Bulls, Celtics, and Heat (51-22) remaining schedules over at Chicago Bulls Confidential is worth a look to put this in perspective.