Game: Washington Wizards @ Chicago Bulls
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Wizards +6.5, Bulls -6.5
The Washington Wizards will have to break out of their recent funk if they want to beat the hottest team in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Bulls, tonight. The Wizards have lost two of their last three games on last-second three-pointers. One of those was on New Year’s Day and was to this very same Bulls team. DeMar DeRozan nailed a long three-pointer at the buzzer and the Bulls won 120-119. Two nights ago, Washington watched as Houston’s Kevin Porter hit a game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds.
Washington has been playing a bit shorthanded with three players in quarantine. That should change tonight as the Wizards are likely to have Spencer Dinwiddie back in the lineup as well as Montrezl Harrell and Aaron Holiday. With just four wins in their last 12 games, the Wizards (19-19) have dropped to ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Wizards will have a tough time with the Bulls tonight. Chicago is in the midst of an eight-game winning streak. That has moved the Bulls into the top spot in the East with a 25-10 record. Chicago has also won seven straight home games and the Bulls are 13-4 at the United Center this season.
One of the big reasons for the Bulls’ success has been the play of its two All-Star hopefuls – DeRozan and Zach LaVine. Both average over 26 points, five rebounds, and four assists per game. Many believe the pair is the best duo in the NBA. They do have some help too. Nikola Vucevic is a force inside with 15.9 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Lonzo Ball (12.9 ppg, 5.1 apg) and Coby White (10.8 ppg) also average in double figures and the bench is deep.
While Washington hasn’t had much success getting wins, it has been able to cover spreads. Over their last eight games, the Wizards are 6-2 ATS. However, Washington has lost eight of its last ten games against Chicago and is only 3-7 ATS in those ten games. With the Bulls favored by 6.5 tonight, it’s worth mentioning that their last three games have been decided by 4, 1, and 2 points. In the last three Wizards-Bulls games, the margins of victory were 1, 4, and 3.
Both teams have been trending toward the Over recently. The total has gone Over in five of the last seven Wizards games. Washington has scored at least 110 points in six of its last seven games. The total has gone Over in six of Chicago’s last nine games. The Bulls have scored 113 or more points in six of their last eight games.
In the last ten games in this Wizards-Bulls series, the total has averaged 232.8. In the three most recent games (including Jan. 1) the total has averaged 236. Washington has trouble defending the perimeter, which is where Chicago shines. The Bulls lead the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (38.5%).