NBA Picks: Trust Raptors To Roll Struggling Bulls On Monday

Swinging Johnson

Monday, December 28, 2015 3:03 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 28, 2015 3:03 PM UTC

The Raptors fly into Chicago to take on the Bulls on Monday. Let’s review what the NBA odds makers are offering on this one and cash in our NBA picks tonight.

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Free NBA Pick: Raptors +1½
Best Line Offered: at GTBets


Toronto Raptors (19-12 SU, 17-13-1 ATS)
Ball distribution and solid team play contributed mightily to the Raptors latest win on Saturday night with Toronto crushing the Bucks 111-90 as 2½ point road chalk in NBA odds. It was a season high 31 assists, with nine by veteran point guard Kyle Lowry, which proved to be too much for Milwaukee. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozen led all scorers with 22 points and eight assists while Terrence Ross chipped in 21 points of his own. DeRozan has been a beast for Toronto lately and would have become the first player in franchise history to score 28 points or more in five consecutive games.

He fell a bit short on Saturday night but his 22 points were instrumental in the only stat that counts – a notch in the win column. Toronto hit 13 three-point shots and improved to 7-3 straight up when they hit 10 or more from downtown. Center Bismack Biyombo grabbed 12 boards and added 14 points to continue his double-double streak to six games while small forward DeMarre Carroll suited up for the first time since December 5th after recovering from a knee injury, registering seven points in 18 minutes of play.


Chicago Bulls (16-12 SU, 10-18 ATS)
If you have been including the Bulls in your NBA picks recently, then you probably didn’t have much money left for Christmas presents as Chicago has dropped four of their last five both straight up and against the all-important number. In their latest setback, the Bulls came up empty in a 118-111 decision to the Mavericks on Saturday night and were unable to stop the sharp-shooting J.J. Barea who knocked down seven treys, a career best for the nine-year veteran who ended the night with 26 points. Derrick Rose led the Bulls in the losing effort with 25 points. Joakim Noah missed the game with a shoulder injury and is expected to be sidelined for at least another week which will preclude him from suiting up for tonight’s contest against the Raptors.

Chicago could use some defense as they have allowed opponents to score an average of 106.2 PPG in regulation over their last five games which is well above their season average of 100.1 which ranks them 15th in the league in that category. The Bulls do not do anything particularly well except rebound and that they do better than any team in the NBA. Chicago is currently averaging 48.9 boards per game led by Pau Gasol (10.9 per game) and followed by Joakim Noah with 8.8 per contest.


Betting Analysis
The Bulls have won and covered their last four against the Raptors but that will change in tonight's matchup. While Chicago is dealing with injuries to key players like Joakim Noah, the Raptors are getting their players back. Seven-foot center Jonas Valanciunas will return after being out since November 20th when he suffered a broken hand against the Lakers. Toronto will now enjoy a dual threat with Valanciunas and Bismack Biyombo who has filled in admirably in his stead. In addition, Toronto’s 5th ranked defense should be enough to put the clamps on an ailing Chicago offense that averages only 100.9 points per game to begin with and is without its backup big man Joakim Noah who has been a large part in Chicago’s top rebounding unit.

This is a case of one team rolling while the other is struggling, and even though the Bulls have owned the Raptors recently, streaks don’t last forever and always give way to new ones.

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