The Chicago Bulls (25-19) visit the Staples Center to battle the Los Angeles Lakers (9-38). The Bulls are an 8.5-point favorite on the NBA odds board and the total has been set at 202.5.
NBA Pick: Bulls -8.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes
The Chicago Bulls (25-19) visit the Staples Center to battle the Los Angeles Lakers (9-38). The Bulls are a -point favorite on the NBA odds board and the total has been set at .
The Bulls have lost three of their last four games, including last Monday's 89-84 setback against the Heat. The Bulls, coming off a win at Cleveland on Saturday, have lost their last four home games. Pau Gasol had 19 points and 17 rebounds to lead way for Chicago and Jimmy Butler added 13 points on 5-for-15 shooting.
Chicago averages 101.3 points per game and shoots 43.3 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent from three-point range while pulling down 48.9 rebounds per game (1st in the NBA). Defensively, they allow 100.8 points per game and their opponents shoot 42.5 percent and 32.7 percent from three-point range while grabbing 46.8 rebounds per game.
Jimmy Butler leads the Bulls with 22.3 points and 1.7 steals, Pau Gasol adds 16.6 points and 10.9 rebounds and Derrick Rose averages 15.3 points and 4.5 assists. Rose is dealing with back and hamstring issues and is questionable for this game.
Los Angeles Lakers
After a tough 92-90 home loss against the Mavericks, the Lakers have now lost their last seven games. Dirk Nowitzki hit a big game-winning shot with 2.1 seconds against a Los Angeles team that didn't have Kobe Bryant because of a sore right shoulder. Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points in the losing effort and Julius Randle added 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers average 96.7 points per game (27th in the league) on league-worsts 41.3 percent from the floor and 30.9 percent from beyond the arc while pulling down 42.9 rebounds per game. Their defense allows 106.2 points per game (28th in the NBA) and their opponents shoot 46.5 percent overall and 34.3 percent from three-point range, while grabbing 47.2 rebounds per game.
Kobe Bryant averages a team-best 15.8 points per game, Louis Williams adds 15.5 points per game off the bench and Jordan Clarkson scores 15.1 points on 43.8 percent shooting (1st on the Lakers). Bryant could miss this game because of a sore right shoulder.
The Bulls are 7-8 ATS in non-conference games, 2-3 ATS when playing with 2 days rest and 5-10 ATS when playing against a team with a losing record.
The Lakers are 20-26 ATS, 10-11 ATS in home games and 9-11 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.
The Bulls are favored by 8.5 points on the NBA odds board and the total is at 202.5. The betting trends for both teams are not encouraging and the potential absences of Rose and Bryant favor the Bulls because they have a deeper team. Look for a big game from former Laker Pau Gasol, as he faces Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles for the last time and their friendship and what the Lakers mean to him will be a huge motivation for him. I like the Bulls -8.5 for one of my NBA picks.