Game: Brooklyn Nets @ Chicago Bulls
Time: 10:10 p.m. ET
Odds: Nets +1.5, Bulls -1.5
The top two teams in the Eastern Conference clash tonight in the United Center in Chicago. The conference-leading Bulls (27-11) take on Brooklyn, which has lost two of its last three and is coming off a loss to Portland on Monday night. The Bulls have won nine of their last ten games including last night’s 133-87 blowout of Detroit.
It’s an away game for the Nets so Kyrie Irving will be in the lineup for Brooklyn. Irving actually left Monday’s game against Portland with an ankle injury. He shot 9-of-21 from the floor, including 3-of-8 from three-point range, and had 22 points and eight rebounds before exiting. He is listed as probable for tonight’s game.
Kevin Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer had 28 points and 10 rebounds in the Portland loss and he and Irving will have to be on top of their game to beat Chicago. James Harden is also listed as probable for tonight’s game. He has had a knee issue but should be good to go tonight.
The Nets have just two wins in their last seven games. Defense has been an issue. Over their last three games, the Nets have allowed opponents an average of 118 points per game. That ranks 25th in the league. Brooklyn has had some COVID and injury issues, but they have been almost at full strength more recently.
That defense will be put to the task against Chicago. The duo of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine has been tearing it up for the Bulls. Both average over 26 points per game for the seventh-highest scoring offense in the league. The Bulls average 111.5 points per game. In their last three games, Chicago is averaging 120.7 points a game and hit 130 or more in two of the three. The Bulls have hit the 130 mark in five of their last ten games.
The Bulls are third in the NBA in offensive efficiency. The Nets have actually been respectable on defense for most of the season. They are ninth in defensive efficiency, but the Nets have allowed 110 points or more in each of their last seven games. Remember, they only won two of those.
Brooklyn has also struggled against the number. The Nets are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games. For the season, they are 14-24-1 ATS but they are 10-8 ATS on the road so far this season. Brooklyn hasn’t covered recently against the Bulls either. In the last six meetings, the Nets are 2-4 ATS despite having beaten the Bulls in 11 of the past 15.
The Bulls are a respectable 23-15 ATS this season and 13-6 ATS at home. However, in their last six games overall the Bulls are just 2-4 ATS. Tonight’s total is a big one at 229. The total has gone Under in the last six straight Nets-Bulls games. The Under has cashed in seven of the last nine Bulls-Nets games played in Chicago.