Nets vs. Bulls Odds, Pick, Prediction: Trends Point To Value On Over/Under (January 12)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls.
- The Bulls are slight favorites on Wednesday night against the Nets.
- Chicago and Brooklyn are fighting at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
- Tyler Schmidt breaks down the matchup and delivers his betting pick below.
Nets vs. Bulls Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight, because this Eastern Conference clash between the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets is going to be incredible.
The Bulls come into this game on fire as they lead the Eastern Conference with a record of 27-11. The Nets aren’t too far behind with a record of 25-14.
Tonight will be their third and final meeting of the regular season. The Bulls won both games as the Nets seek revenge with one of their superstars likely back in the lineup. The Bulls have been the kings of the fourth quarter in their meetings. The first game they Bulls scored a season-high 42 points in the fourth quarter to propel them to victory. In their most recent game they led a fourth quarter comeback to outlast the Nets by four points on the road.
With revenge on their minds, the Nets will look to bounce back after losing five of their last seven games. Is there an edge on either side of this spread? Let’s dive in.
Will Kyrie Irving and James Harden Suit Up?
If you haven’t heard yet, Kyrie Irving is back (kind of). Irving is only able to play in road games, so he will be able to play tonight. That is as long as his ankle is feeling better. Irving and fellow backcourt teammate James Harden are both listed as questionable to play tonight. Harden missed their last game due to a knee injury.
With Irving in the lineup the Nets won against the Indiana Pacers, but lost their last road game against the Portland Trail Blazers who were without Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. That loss brought their road record down to a still impressive 14-4.
Despite their impressive overall record, the Nets have only covered the spread in 15 of their 39 games this season. That is pretty shocking as they have been favored in 34 of their 39 games. As favorites they have failed to cover the spread in 23 of their 34 games. Their only loss as underdogs this season came against the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 19 when they lost 127-104.
This game is basically a pick ’em with a very juicy total at 230 points. The major news is obviously the status of Irving and Harden. Also questionable tonight is Nic Claxton, while LaMarcus Aldridge is out. If Claxton is unable to go it will be Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap defending Bulls center Nikola Vucevic. We will need to monitor the status of these Nets players as tipoff nears.
I am operating as if all of the Nets players are in the lineup. Using our On/Off tool on FantasyLabs, the trio of Irving, Harden, and Kevin Durant have only played 14 games together counting the regular season and postseason. Durant leads the way with a 29.7% Usage Rate, followed by Irving with 23.7%, and Harden coming in last with 18.5%. Harden certainly takes the biggest hit.
Nearly half if those 14 games were during the playoff. During the regular season when Irving, Harden, and Durant all played, the Nets over hit in six of eight games. The Nets themselves averaged 121.4 points per game when all three are in the lineup. They know how to fill up the scoreboard.
Can the Bulls Sweep the Season Series?
The Bulls are playing on a back-to-back after dismantling the Detroit Pistons 133-87. Their 46-point victory was their largest point differential in a win this season.
Unlike the Nets, the Bulls have been very successful covering the spread. They have covered 23 of their 38 games this season and 13 of their 19 home games. As favorites, which they barely are tonight, the Bulls have covered in 18 of 27 games — they have won nine-straight games as home favorites dating back to Nov. 22.
Their only relevant injury news is Alex Caruso who is out tonight due to health and safety protocols. Caruso is averaging a career-high 28 minutes per game as he leads the Bulls and is second in the league in steals with 2.0 per game. Chicago’s Offensive Rating stays basically the same, but its Defensive Rating has dipped without Caruso in the lineup.
The Bulls are scorching hot right now. They have won 10 of their last 11 games. DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine are the best scoring duo in the entire league. DeRozan leads the Bulls with 26.4 points, but LaVine isn’t too far behind with an average of 26.2 points per game. DeRozan does most of his work in the mid-range and leads the Bulls in drives per game, while LaVine is averaging over three made 3-pointers per game for the third consecutive season.
We certainly can’t forget about Vucevic, who is averaging a double-double for the fifth-straight season. He has averaged a double-double in nine of his 12 seasons. His scoring is down playing alongside two high-usage players, but he is still an absolute monster on the block and dangerous on the perimeter.
Lastly, Lonzo Ball has been a fantastic addition to the Bulls. He is playing a career-high 35.3 minutes per game as he leads the team in assists and is shooting a career-high 41.8% from behind the arc. I have no doubt they can keep up with the high-scoring Nets trio tonight.
There are many offensive weapons on the floor in this game. League scoring champions. Veterans who know how to get their shots. Offense that beats great defense. This feels like a potential track meet type of game tonight.
Both the Bulls and Nets rank in the top eight in points per game this season. They also rank in the top 12 in Pace. The Bulls also lead the league shooting an astounding 38.5% from behind the arc. They are fourth in Offensive Rating, while the Nets rank 11th. However, don’t forget the Nets have played nearly all of their games without Irving.
Again, I am assuming Harden and Irving both play tonight, so I will take the game total over 230 points. However, if one of both sit I will gladly take the Bulls ATS at home. Make sure to monitor the status of both players and adjust accordingly. I expect both to play and this game to be an absolute shootout. I would bet this up to 231.5 points tonight.
Pick: Over 230.5 Points
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