NBA Picks: Expect Low Scoring When Bulls & Clippers Collide Sunday

Jay Pryce

Sunday, January 31, 2016 1:42 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 1:42 PM UTC

The Bulls and the L.A. Clippers clash on Sunday afternoon, and we are ready to break down the odds and bring you the best NBA picks for this matchup. Don't miss it!

***Sunday's NBA Prop Bets***

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Free NBA Pick: Under 204
Best Line Offered: at WagerWeb


Chicago makes it two in a row at the Staples Center when they take on the Clippers Sunday afternoon (3:30 p.m. ET). The Bulls plastered the Lakers 114-91 on Thursday, their fourth away win in their last five. The Clippers, however, are 11-3 SU at home since Thanksgiving. The NBA odds boards have the Clippers as 5.5-point favorites, but which team will give?


Chicago Bulls (26-19 SU, 18-27 ATS)
SG Jimmy Butler, Chicago’s top scorer with 22.4 ppg, dropped 26 against the lowly Lakers last time out, continuing a pretty lucrative trend on the season. When Butler scores 24 points or more, the OVER is 15-4-1 with Chicago scoring 107 points per game. In six matchups against the Clip, Butler is putting up 10.3 points in 29.1 minutes per game.

Derrick Rose continues to be the X-factor for oddsmakers, though. The former MVP is averaging 15.3 points and 31.9 minutes per game. When he posts less than 15 a night, the Bulls are 5-14 ATS opposed to 11-10 ATS when popping for his usual output or more. Rose has scored 16 points or more in seven meetings against the Clip prior to this season, but they were in his prime 2008-2010 seasons. He put up just 11 points in Chicago’s 83-80 defeat to L.A. in December.

The Bulls do not live and die by the three like some teams, firing up just 21 per game (24th in the NBA). However, when facing foes finding it difficult to defend the arc, they rack up some points. In 23 contests against opponents allowing a 34.1 three-point success rate or greater on the season, coach Fred Hoiberg’s men are dropping nearly two extra trays per night for 106 points a game versus 96 in 21 under the mark. It is throwing totals for a loop too with the OVER going 15-6-2. L.A enters the contest allowing opponents a 34.6 percent average.


Los Angeles Clippers (31-16 SU, 24-22 ATS)
Bettors are making a mint backing the Clip since Christmas. L.A. is 12-5 ATS (14-3 SU) in this span, covering more spreads than any other team in the league.

The Clippers will be without their leading scorer (23.3 ppg) for at least another month after star forward Blake Griffin fractured his hand in an off-court fight last Saturday. But is he missed? The offense has a history of scoring more points with Griffin out of the lineup, while not giving up much on defense. In fact, he has not played since Christmas Day and the start of L.A.’s torrid run.

In 17 games with Griffin out of the lineup, Doc River’s men average 107.3 ppg and allow 100.2 versus 102.1 and 100.6 when playing. Prior to this year, Griffin sat out 19 games in his five-year career. L.A. is 11-8 SU, 11-7-1 ATS with team’s point differential the same (+3.3) as when he suited up. All in all, his value is not as important to the Clip’s bottom line, so it appears.

The Clippers defense comes alive against opponents with poor extra scoring chances on the season. Chicago is next to last in the NBA in forcing turnovers (11.9 per game) and dead last in offensive rebounds yielded with 12.6 per game. The Bulls -3.3 extra scoring chances per game are only better than the lowly 76ers (-3.8). When L.A. faces foes compiling less than 24 forced turnovers and offensive rebounds, it is holding them to 96.8 points per game in 14 versus 102.7 with more. In those 14 contests, its opponents failed to reach their team total in 10 of them.


Final Analysis
Butler tweaked his ankle in Saturday's practice, but is expected to play. He's at his best when he is able to penetrate the paint and score from close-in, but his mobility may be hampered by the minor injury. Moreover, the Clippers have done a good job at forcing the Bulls star into inefficient mid-range jumpers. Butler may struggle from the floor, and Chicago might have to play a little more conservatively to keep it close. The UNDER 204 is the NBA pick.

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