The Chicago Bulls head home to the United Center to battle the Charlotte Hornets as betting favorites following Tuesday’s win in Brooklyn.
The Chicago Bulls will look to build off of Tuesday’s win in Brooklyn, as they face the Charlotte Hornets for the first time this season. Last night’s win saw Zach LaVine score 20 points in the fourth quarter to outpace Brooklyn in a 108-99 win. LaVine has been listed out for tonight’s game, as the team eases him back from his knee ailments and continues to avoid playing him on back-to-back nights.
With Zach LaVine out of the lineup tonight, the Chicago Bulls will have to find other avenues of offense as the team currently stands 1-2 without his efforts. I mentioned in yesterday’s blog the differences in Demar Derozan’s output with LaVine in or out of the lineup, and while I do agree he could be in line for another nice evening, I have my eyes set elsewhere in the Bulls lineup.
Tonight, we’re hoping to have consecutive winning nights both in the Bulls win column, and right here on the best bet of the day. Last night’s win put the Bulls at 4-4 on the season, and Zach LaVine’s fourth quarter efforts pushed the best bet of the day to 6-2! Strap in for another battle, good luck, see some red, and GO BULLS!!
2022 Bulls Best Bet Record: 6-2
Nikola Vucevic Over 18.5 Points (Sportsbook odds may vary)
The Bulls’ big man through the first eight games of the season has seemingly found a boost in a confidence, and in my opinion appears to look more like the imposing center from Orlando that the Bulls and their fans have been waiting for. That is not to trash or disrespect what he did over his first season and a half in Chicago, but I and many others would argue that something was missing.
Now in his second full season with the Bulls, the confidence and aggressiveness has appeared to rise to a higher level. Field goal percentage and his point output could certainly increase from where they are now, but his rebounding numbers are the highest of his career, along with his free throw attempts and percentage. My biggest critique right now would be finishing some “easier” buckets on smaller defenders, but I think that will figure itself out.
In tonight’s case, it looks like Vooch will have a great opportunity to be the focal point, or co-focal point alongside Derozan tonight. Without LaMelo Ball to open the season, this Charlotte defense has been surprisingly formidable, at least in comparison to their expectations and previous history.
Charlotte currently ranks 10th in defensive efficiency under new head coach Steve Clifford, and have been really tough on 3-point shooters. The Hornets currently rank first in the NBA in 3-point percentage allowed, forcing teams to beat them inside the perimeter. In contrast, they rank 22nd in 2-point percentage allowed, drawing optimism that the Bulls leading scorers in tonight’s game could find success.
I have two reasons why I prefer Vucevic’s point total tonight over Derozan’s. On one hand, the pricing for Derozan is finally a closer reflection of his point output when LaVine is out of the lineup. The other important defensive trend to mention that pushed me over the edge and could be a better illustration of why Charlotte’s 2-point percentage has suffered, is Charlotte’s points per game allowed in the paint.
The Hornets rank 27th in the NBA with 54.9 points allowed in the paint this season, and on the road that number climbs to 60 per game and dead last in the league. If the Chicago Bulls can exploit their issues inside with Vooch, the big man should have no issues getting over this number, and could potentially be the x-factor in deciding this game.
Give me a 20-plus point outing for Vooch tonight to get us to 7-2!! GO BULLS!!
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