NBA Odds: Bulls Have Covered 6 Straight Games, But Will Not Make It 7 At Denver

Matthew Jordan

Monday, November 21, 2016 10:22 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 10:22 PM UTC

No team is playing better against the spread right now in the NBA than the Chicago Bulls, as they have covered their past six heading into Tuesday night's game at Denver. The Bulls are -1 on NBA odds with a total of 207.5.

Bulls Are Overachieving

Most projections had the Bulls at best a .500 team this season after trading Derrick Rose to the Knicks for Robin Lopez and Jerian Grant, and saying goodbye to Joakim Noah and All-Star Pau Gasol in free agency. Chicago did sign former All-Stars Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo in free agency, but both of those guys are on the downsides of their career. To win the NBA nowadays, you have to be able to hit 3-pointers and the Bulls didn't appear to have that because Wade and Rondo aren't 3-point shooters. Neither is the team's star, Jimmy Butler, although he does  everything else well.

Chicago is off to a 9-5 start despite ranking 27th in the league in 3-pointers made at 7.4 per game. So maybe all the so-called experts are wrong. The Bulls are 3-1 on their annual Circus Trip, which this year is six games. The one loss was at the Clippers on Saturday, where Chicago blew a 19-point lead against perhaps the NBA's best team thus far. The Bulls played again Sunday at the Lakers and won 118-110 to cover their sixth straight game against the spread.

Wade got the night off in the second of a back-to-back vs. the Lakers -- he will be back in there Tuesday -- and Butler had a season-high 40 points in the win. He reportedly called his shot before the game, telling Coach Fred Hoiberg that "I'm going for 40 tonight." They were the most points ever scored by a Bulls player in a road win against the Lakers. On Monday, Butler was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week He averaged 27.3 points (second in the East), 9.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

Chicago is 10-4 ATS on NBA odds this season and 6-3 ATS on the road.


Nuggets Have Struggled At Home

Denver (5-8) won for just the second time in seven games Sunday, 105-91 at home against short-handed Utah. Rookie Jamal Murray had perhaps his best game as a pro as the former Kentucky star from Canada had 18 points, 16 in the fourth quarter. Jusuf Nurkic had 16 points and 11 rebounds to help Denver improve to 2-4 at home. The Nuggets won despite hitting a terrible 13 of 30 (43 percent) from the free-throw line. It was the team's worst percentage in nine years.

Will Barton made his return from a nine-game injury absence and had seven points. He's starting because guard Gary Harris is out until mid-December with a foot injury. The Nuggets got Nurkic and Harris in a 2014 draft-day trade with Chicago, which got Doug McDermott. All three were first-round picks that night. Denver has won that trade thus far; McDermott remains out with a concussion.

The Nuggets have some interesting pieces on their roster but are lacking that one true star. They actually also were interested in Wade this offseason and even offered more money than Chicago did. But Wade was never going to leave  Miami for anywhere other than his hometown.

Denver is 9-4 ATS this season on NBA picks and 3-3 ATS at home. The Nuggets have won nine straight at home in this series, and I like them here as the Bulls likely will be running out of gas on this long trip and in the altitude.

NBA Free Pick: Nuggets +1Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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