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NBA Game Preview: Chicago Bulls at Portland Trail Blazers – 11/17

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Game: Chicago Bulls at Portland Trail Blazers  

Time: 10:00 p.m. ET 

Odds: Bulls +1.5, Trail Blazers -1.5 

Total: 220 

The Chicago Bulls are legit. They proved as much with wins over the Lakers and the Clippers on the road on consecutive nights. The pair of wins gives Chicago a 10-4 record which puts them into the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls have now won four of their last five. The only loss came to Golden State, which is now 12-2. 

Chicago continues its West Coast road trip tonight at the Moda Center in Portland where they face a Trail Blazers team that is 7-8 overall. Portland has an almost Jekyll and Hyde identity when playing on the road versus playing at home. This season, the Trail Blazers are 6-1 at the Moda Center and just 1-7 away from home.  

Portland is 6-9 ATS this season and, true to form, is much better against the spread at home. The Trail Blazers are 5-2 ATS at home versus 1-7 ATS on the road. Chicago is 10-4 ATS overall and has been good to bettors when playing on the road with a 5-2 ATS mark.  

The Trail Blazers have won two of their last three games. The only loss was at Denver on Sunday night. Damian Lillard is starting to come around. He was clearly not himself early in the season. He has scored 20 or more points in each of Portland’s last five games including 24, eight assists, four rebounds, and two steals in Monday’s win over Toronto. Lillard’s scoring average is now 20.3 per game. Teammate C.J. McCollum continues to lead the team in scoring at 21.3 points per game.  

Like Chicago, Portland is one of the NBA’s higher-scoring teams. The Trail Blazers are ninth in points per game averaging a little over 109 a night. What’s interesting is that Portland ramps it up at home and averages over 116 points per game at the Moda Center. For the Trail Blazers, there seems to be a distinct home-court advantage. 

There’s no secret as to what works in Chicago. The duo of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine is one of the best in the league. DeRozan averages 26.9 points a game and LaVine adds 25.9. Nikola Vucevic is an outstanding all-around big man with 13.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. In addition to being able to score, the Bulls are also one of the better defensive teams in the NBA. Chicago ranks sixth in points allowed per game (102.7) and eighth in defensive efficiency. The Bulls will have their hands full with both Lillard and McCollum. 

The Bulls are 4-1 ATS in their last four games while Portland is just 3-7 ATS in its last ten. The Over has cashed in four of Portland’s last five games. The Under has been the trend for Chicago. The Under has hit in 13 of the Bulls’ last 20 games. That includes two of the last three.