Game: Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Nets +2, Bulls -2
The Chicago Bulls were 6-1 until they ran into the Philadelphia 76ers last week. The Bulls dropped consecutive games to the Sixers and are looking to rebound against Brooklyn tonight. The Nets improved to 7-3 with an impressive 116-103 win over Toronto on Sunday. It was Brooklyn’s fifth straight win.
While the Nets win streak sounds impressive, two of the five wins were against Detroit which is just 1-8 so far this season. Another pair of wins was over Indiana and Atlanta whose combined record so far this season is just 8-13. The win over the Raptors may be the Nets’ best win of the season. Still, they are 7-3, but the lineup is thin.
Brooklyn has had to start Blake Griffin at center alongside Paul Millsap and Lamarcus Aldridge. Nic Claxton will be out at least another two weeks and Kyrie Irving is still out because of New York City’s vaccine mandate. Mayor-elect Eric Adams has said that the mandate will not change when he takes office, which leaves Irving’s status up in the air.
The Bulls have been driven by the success of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Both players average over 26 points per game and both shoot better than 47 percent from the field. The Bulls do have some issues as both Coby White and Patrick Williams will be out of the lineup for several weeks. Chicago only scores 107.9 points per game, which ranks in the bottom half of the league, but the Bulls rank in the top half in field goal percentage (46.1) and three-point shooting percentage (36.1). Chicago is also playing very well on the defensive end. The Bulls rank eighth in the NBA in points allowed per game (102.7).
Tonight’s game is likely to revolve around the stars in it. That includes both LaVine and DeRozan for the Bulls and Kevin Durant and James Harden for the Nets. Durant averages 28.6 points per game and Harden, while not putting up his usual point numbers, still averages 18.7 points, 8.9 assists, and 7.7 rebounds per game.
While Chicago’s stars shoot well from the field, so do Brooklyn’s. In fact, as a team, the Nets actually shoot a little bit better overall than Chicago. Brooklyn shoots 46.8 percent from the floor while the Bulls are at 46.1.
With all of the scoring that will be on the floor tonight, it’s worth noting that both teams are trending Under in game totals. The total has gone Under in eight of Brooklyn’s last ten games. In two of their last four games, the Nets have faced totals of 210 and 211. Both games went Under.
The same is true for Chicago. The Under has hit in 14 of the Bulls’ last 20 games and 10 of the last 13 at home. In the series with Brooklyn, the Under is 4-1 in the last five. The Bulls are 7-3 SU and ATS in their last ten games. Brooklyn is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 games against Chicago.