- Jon Greenberg, Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
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It's all about the numbers. The Bulls were 18-9 with Rose this season and finished with an NBA-high 50 wins.
The MGM Grand Race & Sports Book still has the Bulls as a -600 favorite for the seven-game series, which the Bulls lead 1-0. Oddsmakers in Vegas and overseas have the Bulls winning Tuesday’s game by 6 to 6 ½ points.
"His injury is key " MGM Grand Sports Book Director Jay Rood wrote in an e-mail. "But not as big if he had played every game and we didn't know how the team would play without him. We have a good sample size on that this year so it removes some uncertainty."
While Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Sunday no one was picking the Bulls to win it all when Rose was active, the MGM only moved the Bulls’ title odds down from 9-5 to 9-2.
Jay Kornegay, sports book director at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, said he had the Bulls at 4-1 to win the NBA title before the playoffs and now has them at 12-1, and 9-1 to win the East. He has Chicago as a -650 favorites in the Sixers series.
Sportsbetting.ag, an offshore gambling site, has the Bulls at -650 to win the Sixers series, 8-1 to win the NBA title and 3-1 to win the East. Another site, Bovada.lv, has the Bulls at 9-1 to win the title and 7-2 to win the East.
Rose’s injury has also caused a major downturn on the secondary ticket market. According to ticket price research firm SeatGeek, there is a 25-28 percent decrease in prices for games 2 and 3 of this series.
Will Flaherty, director of communications for SeatGeek, said in the five days leading up to Game 1, the average price for a Game 2 ticket was $145.46. In the 48 hours after Rose’s injury, the average ticket was going for $104.09.
In Philadelphia, a similar drop is happening for Game 3. The five-day average price was $82.39 and the new average price is $60.92.
2dMatt Walks, ESPN.com
2dJason McCallum, ESPN Stats & Info