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Bulls vs. Lakers Odds & Picks: Back Los Angeles If Two Stars Play

Bulls vs. Lakers Odds & Picks: Back Los Angeles If Two Stars Play article feature image

Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James.

  • The Bulls are halfway through a Western Conference road trip and face their toughest test on Friday night: the defending champs.
  • Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis played on Thursday night in a loss to the Spurs, but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if either was rested against Chicago.
  • Joe Dellera explains why he's backing the Lakers, but only if their star duo is active against the Bulls.

Bulls vs. Lakers Odds

Bulls Odds +9.5 [BET NOW]
Lakers Odds -9.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +340 / -460 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 226 [BET NOW]
Time 10 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via PointsBet, where you can get $250 FREE instantly after signing up AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app. Learn more about BetSync here.

In the midst of a four-game road trip through the Western Conference, the Chicago Bulls take on the defending-champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Chicago has two games left on its tour of the West Coast, while the Lakers are on the back end of a back-to-back. It remains to be seen whether everyone will play for Los Angeles after losing on Thursday night to the Spurs.

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Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are 1-1 on this road trip and have won two of their last three games, losing by four on Wednesday night in Sacramento. The Lakers, though, are an entirely different animal from the Mavericks, Blazers or Kings.

The Bulls will enter this contest without Tomas Satoransky and Chandler Hutchinson due to COVID-19 Protocols. If something changes we will keep track of it through our Fantasy Labs Insiders Tool.

It should not come as a huge surprise, but the Bulls have the fourth-worst point differential in the NBA at -6.5 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. While Chicago’s offense is not atrocious, 18th ranked, its defense gives up 116.1 points per 100 possessions, also the fourth-worst in the NBA.

When the Bulls have had the rest advantage of playing a team on a back-to-back, they have not been able to capitalize. Over the past two seasons, they are just 4-4 against the spread (ATS) in this spot.

Los Angeles Lakers

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is listed as questionable for the Lakers, while LeBron James and Anthony Davis have played in most back-to-back spots, but at this point in the season it’s reasonable to expect one of James or Davis to miss this game.

As of Thursday, there are only 51 possessions this season that did not have either James or Davis on the court.

The Lakers have the second best net differential at +9.6 points per 100 but have struggled this season when James is not on the court. They have a -7.1 point differential in all lineups without LeBron, per Cleaning the Glass. When Davis is off the floor, they still maintain a +11.2 point differential.

This is not so much about LeBron being “better” than Davis. It’s just that the Lakers’ offense seems to stall from an efficiency standpoint without the reigning Finals MVP. What is notable is the Lakers seem to pick up the Pace to compensate for his absence and play 4 possessions faster when LeBron is off the court, per NBA Advanced Stats.

Bulls-Lakers Pick

Considering we are not sure of LeBron and AD’s status, this is more difficult to handicap. If neither of them play, this is a clear stay away.

However, if they do play, I don’t think that the Bulls can stop them.

Over the past two seasons, when the Lakers play on no rest, they are 7-3 ATS, per Betlabs and they’ve covered those games by an average margin of 7.05 points.

The market sometimes overcorrects for the rest disadvantage and in this situation, the Lakers are more than capable of beating the Bulls and covering so long as their main roster remains intact.

Pick: Lakers -9.5 (if James and Davis play)

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