Bulls vs. Trail Blazers Odds & Pick: Look To Portland’s Total for Value
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Damien Lillard.
- Two teams that have struggled defensively meet on Tuesday night when the Trail Blazers host the Bulls.
- While Chicago hasn't lit it up on offense, Portland's dynamic duo of Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum has continued its high-scoring ways early in the new campaign.
- Brandon Anderson breaks down how he's betting this game, with an eye on Portland's team total.
Bulls vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Bulls Odds||+10 [BET NOW]|
|Trail Blazers Odds||-10 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+350/-450 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||233.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|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.|
I used to have a Bulls vs. Trail Blazers video game when I was a kid. I played it on Super Nintendo and it was awesome, featuring Michael Jordan’s free throw line dunk and all 16 teams from the 1992 playoffs, which of course led to a great Bulls vs. Blazers NBA Finals.
This game … will not remind us of that.
Neither these Bulls nor Blazers will likely be playing in the Finals again anytime soon. Chicago is 3-4 this season and does not look anything like a playoff team right now. The Bulls turned over the reins to Billy Donovan but haven’t seen results yet.
The Blazers finally got Jusuf Nurkic back healthy and revamped their forward rotation but haven’t seen the positive results from that yet either. Portland is 3-3 and just watched Steph Curry drop 62 points on them last time out.
If you’re looking for old school ball and great defense, you’ve come to the wrong place.
In many ways, these teams mirror each other. The Bulls are playing at one of the fastest paces in the league, which at least makes them entertaining, so there’s that.
Chicago is lucky to be 3-4. The Bulls have two wins against the hapless Wizards and a third against a Mavericks that was missing Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Chicago has three losses by 19 or more points.
This season, thus far, has not been pretty.
The Bulls rank below league average in Offensive Rating (20th) and even worse in Defensive Rating, just 25th in the NBA entering play Monday according to NBA.com Advanced Stats.
Chicago’s offense has been miserable, for the most part. The team is getting to the free throw line often, but there’s not much else to get excited about right now.
Coby White is in a serious sophomore slump, and Zach LaVine is hitting only 30% of his 3-pointers right now. The Bulls are playing a lot of Wendell Carter Jr., Patrick Williams and Thad Young to try to add some defense, but those guys just aren’t doing much offensively.
Chicago is also not solving the bad defense. The Bulls have a horrid defensive shot profile, letting opponents get any shots they want while fouling at one of the highest rates in the league.
All that entertaining pace is quickly offset by endless trips to the free throw line on both ends. The pace also tends to lead to run outs on the other end, and Chicago has one of the highest turnover rates in the league, which means more easy points for the Bulls to give up.
Chicago is also shorthanded right now with Lauri Markkanen, Tomas Satoransky and Chandler Hutchison all in doubt for this game due to COVID-19 protocol.
The Bulls just aren’t very good right now. They look like what they are — a young team that hasn’t figured anything out yet.
Portland Trail Blazers
The only good news for the Bulls: The Trail Blazers aren’t very good right now either.
Portland is also playing fast, though not nearly as fast as Chicago. They’re also terrible on defense, probably even worse than the Bulls.
Like the Bulls, the Blazers are probably lucky to have even the tepid record they have at 3-3, though Portland has had a bit of a difficult schedule thus far. Still, they too have three blowout losses, each by 15 or more points.
Portland’s defense has been atrocious, and not just because they let Curry drop 62 on them. Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum have never been great on that end, and Robert Covington and Derrick Jones have not been enough to cover the Blazers’ sins. Jusuf Nurkic looks a step slow still and the Blazers are installing a new defensive system that hasn’t clicked yet.
Portland’s defensive metrics are all bad. They rank 28th in Defensive Rating entering Monday, foul far too often and have a terrible overall defensive profile.
The difference between these teams is that Portland’s offense has been solid thus far, though not quite as good as past years.
Basically, the Blazers have Dame and C.J. and you don’t.
Portland ranks second in the NBA in 3-point shots both made and attempted, but it ranks 29th in 2-point percentage and 2-point shots made. That’s by design but it also makes this team hot and cold, depending on if the shots are falling. With Covington and Jones out there to primarily help on defense, they have contributed very little so far on offense, which puts the onus on Lillard and McCollum to score, as usual.
Portland’s best hope right now is to simply outscore its opponent. Lillard and McCollum can always have big days, and Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter are positive contributors on offense — they just stink even worse on defense.
Against good teams with plus benches, that’s a problem. Against the Bulls, it may not be as much of a worry.
Bulls-Trail Blazers Pick
By now, you should have a sense of where this is going. Very little defense on either end means the better offense should prevail, and that is clearly Portland. Lillard and McCollum should thoroughly outplay White and LaVine, and the Blazers bench should score while the Bulls don’t have enough offensive firepower to threaten Portland’s bad defense.
The problem is that the Blazers are big favorites, 10 points as of Monday evening, and it feels tenuous to make Portland that big of a favorite against anyone right now.
So with all the lack of defense, is the over the better play here? Portland is 3-3 to the over on the season, while Chicago is 4-3, so it’s no slam dunk.
The problem with the over play here is that neither team is particularly reliable, particularly Chicago’s offense. If the Bulls just go cold, even a bad Blazers defense can’t get us to the over.
I’ll take a middle ground here and play the Blazers’ team over at 121.5. If the Blazers win big, they probably get to that number and that also gives me a piece of the over if this turns into a shootout.
The one thing I trust here is for Dame and C.J. to show up and score at home against a bad defense. I’ll play Portland’s over to 122.5.
Pick: Blazers over 121.5 (play to 122.5)