NBA Betting Preview for Bulls vs. Nets

NBA Betting Preview for Bulls vs. Nets article feature image
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Pictured: Cam Thomas #24 of the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • The Nets host the Bulls in Thursday night NBA action.
  • Andrew O'Connor-Watts has a few leans for this game, but advises waiting until the trade deadline passes before locking in any plays.
  • That being said, he highlights a possible live-betting opportunity below.

Bulls vs. Nets Odds

Bulls Odds+3.5
Nets Odds-3.5
Over/Under230
Time7:30 p.m. ET
TVTNT
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Chicago Bulls face off against the Brooklyn Nets on the night of the trade deadline.

Neither team is at full-strength and the status of DeMar DeRozan would be the biggest question mark, if not for the uncertainty of the Brooklyn Nets and their desire to trade for another star to pair with Kevin Durant.

Let’s take a look at the odds and I’ll make a betting prediction for the Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets.

Chicago Bulls

The big question surrounding tonight’s game is DeMar DeRozan's status. DeRozan is questionable with right hip soreness, but his status is key if we are going to handicap a side. Chicago has played well in its past 10 games (6-4 straight up and against the spread).

Without DeRozan, the Bulls struggle offensively and that was fully evident on Tuesday in Chicago’s 89-104 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. According to Statmuse, the Bulls have a 107.4 Offensive Rating without DeRozan, compared to a 114.8 mark when he plays.

Chicago’s offensive struggles can be largely attributed to its inability to score efficiently in the half court without DeRozan in the lineup.

The Bulls are the eighth-most efficient half-court offense this season (100.6 points per 100 possessions), per Cleaning the Glass. But in four games without DeRozan, their Offensive Rating has broken 100 just once — a 132-118 win over the Warriors as Golden State was in the midst of a five-game road trip.


Brooklyn Nets

On the same night LeBron James made history by becoming the league’s all-time leading scorer, Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas made history by becoming the youngest player ever to score 40+ points in three consecutive games.

Recent reports by SI.com’s Chris Milholen have confirmed, via Jacque Vaughn, that Durant’s return won’t come until after the All-Star Break, which means Thomas should continue to see significant volume and usage.

Despite Thomas’ admirable scoring success, the Nets have struggled to win games without Kyrie Irving and Durant, but have outperformed the betting market. In the past three games, the Nets are 1-2 straight up, but 3-0 ATS with each game going over the total.

Brooklyn has been inconsistent to start games — 1-2 ATS in the first half — but has come out of halftime aggressively and is a perfect 3-0 ATS in the third quarter.

Bulls-Nets Pick

Based on the current number, I’ll assume DeRozan sits out Thursday night and Seth Curry has already been confirmed as out for Brooklyn. As a result, I lean to the Bulls even without DeRozan, but I’ll  stay away from a side unless the Bulls get out to a big lead at halftime. Then, I’ll look to bet the Nets at +10 or better.

That said, I’d be wary of playing a side with the trade deadline looming. The Nets could be making moves to bring in players, which means we don’t know who could on their way out. I think a trade would probably mean an under play is safer than anything else, but I’ll wait until closer to tipoff before placing any bets.

I also like the under based on the Bulls’ inability to score in the half court and the Nets ability to defend in the half court (sixth in Defensive Rating). I like the under down to 228.5 if no deals are made, but make sure to follow me in the Action Network app and I'll put in my under pick before tip-off if no moves are made.

Pick: Live Bet Nets +10 or Better at Half

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