Jazz vs. Bulls NBA Odds & Picks: Back New-Look Chicago as Home Underdog (March 22)

Jazz vs. Bulls NBA Odds & Picks: Back New-Look Chicago as Home Underdog (March 22) article feature image
Credit:

Chris Schwegler/Getty Images. Pictured: Denzel Valentine of the Bulls.

  • Utah hasn't recently been the covering-machine that it was before the NBA All-Star break.
  • Chicago has meanwhile played much better since changing up its starting lineup but is playing the second game of a back-to-back.
  • Joe Dellera thinks rest is overrated and explains why he's backing the Bulls.

Jazz vs. Bulls Odds

Jazz Odds -9
Bulls Odds +9
Moneyline -420 / +320
Over/Under 231.5
Time Monday, 9 p.m. ET
TV NBCS-CHI
Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings

The Bulls take on the Jazz on Monday night in Chicago. The Bulls look to build on their win last night over the Pistons while the Jazz are well rested having last played (and won) on Friday night.

Will the rest make a difference or can Chicago hang tight as a home dog?

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Utah Jazz

The Jazz have slipped a bit out of the gate after the All-Star break against the spread. Despite being 3-2, they are just 1-4 ATS, and the gravy train that was the Jazz winning and covering may be done for the time being. They currently have listed Rudy Gobert as questionable for tonight’s game with a hip contusion. Of note, the Jazz listed Gobert as a game-time decision on Friday, and he played 35 minutes in that win.

Utah’s defense has not been as tight out of the break, and over the past two weeks they’ve allowed their opponents to score 115.3 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. This is nearly 7 points more than their season average. The biggest difference has been the Jazz are getting lit up from beyond the arc. allowing opponents to shoot 38% from 3-point range. This is normally an advantage that Utah holds over teams, not the other way around.

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Chicago Bulls

The Bulls played last night and defeated the Pistons. Wendell Carter Jr. hurt his eye, but he should be available tonight. The Bulls are expected to be without Chandler Hutchinson due to personal reasons.

The Bulls have switched up their starting lineup and essentially moved their lowest net rating players to the bench. They are 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS after this move. It’s really opened up the Bulls’ lineups, and despite not playing the best teams over this stretch, they have a +10.2 point differential since the shakeup.

This Bulls’ offense is clicking since the lineup change and actually giving their best players more minutes. They are scoring 115.9 points per 100 while surrendering just 105.7, per Cleaning the Glass. This is markedly better than their full season averages of 112.8 and 112.9, respectively. The lineup modifications have worked wonders, and the crew of Tomas Satoransky, Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams, Thaddeus Young and Lauri Markkanen has posted a +9.8 point differential in the 111 possessions they’ve shared this season.

Jazz-Bulls Pick

This is an opportunity to buy into a Bulls team that has made a definitive change to their game plan and strategy. This starting lineup has an eFG% of 66.5% which ranks in the 98th percentile, and it is led in large part by their 50% 3-point percentage. This is an area the Jazz have struggled to defend recently, and this Bulls squad will look to take advantage of that.

This season, home dogs playing in the second game of a back-to-back with a rest disadvantage have shown that rest is overrated. Those teams are 27-18 ATS covering by an average margin of 4.07 points, per BetLabs. The Bulls themselves are 3-1 in this spot.

I’m willing to back the home dog, and I’ll take the points as I expect the Bulls to keep this within double digits with their new look.

Pick: Bulls +9.5 (down to 8.5)

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