On Friday night, the Chicago Bulls are hosting the Brooklyn Nets at the United Center in Illinois.
For the game, the two teams have finalized their injury reports and starting lineups.
The Nets have ruled out Dru Smith, Ben Simmons and David Duke Jr.
The Brooklyn Nets (34-24) are slated to face the Chicago Bulls (26-33) on Friday at United Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the Nets vs. Bulls odds, and make our expert NBA picks and predictions.
The Nets covered as 1.5-point home favorites to defeat the Miami Heat 116-105 last Wednesday. Brooklyn has gone 5-5 in its last 10 games despite trading G Kyrie Irving and F Kevin Durant recently.
The Bulls lost 112-100 to the Milwaukee Bucks last Thursday and were unable to cover as 7.5-point underdogs at home. Chicago is on a 6-game losing streak.
This will be the 4th meeting between the Nets and the Bulls this season. Chicago has covered the spread in 2 of the first 3 meetings despite Brooklyn winning the most-recent matchup while the Under has hit in all 3 meetings.
Why The Bulls Could Cover The Spread
Chicago seems to relish in mediocrity as the Bulls opted against blowing the team up in hopes of making a run in the play-in. Despite losing six straight games, the Bulls are by no means a bad basketball team. They are favored tonight for a reason as they feature a solid defense that allows just 113.4 PPG. While they may not score a ton of points, their 49% field goal percentage ranks sixth in the league. Additionally, the Bulls are one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the league as they rank third in defensive rebound rate.
On defense, the Nets are leading the NBA in blocked shots (6.5 per game) and 2-point percentage allowed (51.0%), and Brooklyn is in the top five of the NBA in field goal percentage (45.8%) and assists allowed (22.9 per game). Opponents also score fewer than 49 points in the paint per game against the Nets, and Chicago is only No. 24 in the NBA in offensive efficiency this season.
How to make Bulls vs. Nets picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 233 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
Zach LaVine is right behind DeRozan as he averages 24.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 4.1 APG. LaVine gets his buckets in a different fashion than DeRozan, however, as he is a lethal outside shooter. The 27-year-old averages 2.7 threes per game and shoots 37% from three.
Rounding out their big three is big man Nikola Vucevic. The stretch-five is having a standard Vucevic season, averaging 17.9 PPG and 11.5 RPG. Additionally, he is having a strong shooting season with 1.7 threes per game and a 36% three-point percentage.
CHICAGO (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting and the Chicago Bulls drubbed the Brooklyn Nets 131-87 on Friday night to snap a six-game skid.
Chicago held Brooklyn to a season low in points; its previous worst was 92 in a loss to Boston in December. The Nets lost by their biggest margin this season, one point worse than a defeat by the Celtics on Feb. 1.
Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond each had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls. All-Star DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams each scored 17 points.
The Bulls, who moved within 1 1/2 games of 10th place and the final play-in spot in Eastern Conference, stormed ahead early and never slowed down.
“I think that’s what we have to do from here on out and throw everything at these last 22 games because we understand where we are,” LaVine said. “We have to put that type of energy into it.”
The Bulls opened a 101-51 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“I thought collectively as a group, the group was pretty connected on both ends with the way they played,” Chicago coach Billy Donovan said.
Cam Thomas came off the bench to lead the Nets with 22 points. Seth Curry had 19 and Mikal Bridges scored 13.
Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith are trying to integrate as starters for the Nets, who acquired them earlier this month in the trades of All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
“We really have to be the hardest-playing team in the NBA,” Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn said. “When we don’t, this can happen.
“I’m going to continue to challenge our guys that this is unacceptable as a group. I want them to own it and respond.”
The Bulls scored the first 11 points, built a 34-point lead at the half and thoroughly dominated the sloppy and cold-shooting Nets in the first game for both teams since the All-Star break.
“I thought our effort to get out there and contest and challenge shots and try to make it difficult was good,” Donovan said. “I thought the group that started the game was really good.”
The Bulls outshot the Nets 56.8% to 37% from the floor, dominated in the paint and out-rebounded them 57-31. Brooklyn, which has lost three of four, committed 13 turnovers and Chicago had six steals to fuel a wave of fast breaks.
DeRozan started after missing last two games with right quadriceps strain and was able to rest down the stretch. He scored eight points for Team Giannis in the All-Star Game last Sunday.
The Bulls led 63-29 in at the half, holding Brooklyn to its lowest output in a half this season and its worst-scoring quarter, 11 points in the second.
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