The Chicago Bulls travel to Oklahoma City following two massive wins over the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls stand as betting favorites against the Thunder tonight.
After a brutal and downright embarrassing stretch, the Chicago Bulls have found a huge boost of confidence after taking down arguably the two best teams in the NBA in consecutive games. Tonight will bring a different test, and despite the two huge wins, this Bulls team will be tested against a tough and scrappy Thunder team led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
If you haven’t been paying attention to this team, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been absolutely unreal. After a nice progression to start his career, in year five, SGA is in the early stages of a no-doubt All-Star season, currently averaging 31.1 points per game, third in the league behind only Luka Doncic and Steph Curry.
The injury report for tonight’s game is still to be determined, but as of this afternoon, Goran Dragic remains doubtful for tonight’s game.
Another absence for Dragic could open the door for more minutes for Coby White, who in addition to hitting maybe the two biggest shots of the season for the Chicago Bulls, also was seen diving for loose balls on numerous occasions Wednesday night. I still maintain my skepticism with his role on this team, but if that is the effort we begin to see on a nightly basis, I am happy to change my tune on Coby White.
If you followed along on Wednesday night, you know how lucky we were with the 0.2 seconds remaining early Christmas present that was given to us in the form of two meaningless free throws to cash Patrick Williams point total over for the second consecutive night. I like Williams’ chances again tonight, but will switch things up for today’s play, as I feel there is a better matchup to exploit.
Let’s keep the winners coming and get this back safely into the green! Best of luck tonight, see some red, and GO BULLS!!
2022 Bulls Best Bet Record: 9-9 (2W Streak)
Nikola Vucevic Over 16.5 Points (Sportsbook odds May Vary)
I don’t often grab the big man and his props, but I think tonight’s game is a fantastic matchup for Nikola Vucevic to score in multiple phases. After the nail-in-the-coffin three on Wednesday night, I think Vooch is in line for a big night against a team that has not shown much physicality in the paint.
On one hand, you might feel strongly that a few players in this Chicago Bulls lineup could go over their point total, as these Thunder games are high scoring and entering tonight, rank 29th in the league in points allowed per game. The game total for this evening is currently 232.5.
In Vucevic’s case, I think he could be really effective both in the paint and potentially from behind the arc. I don’t necessarily expect his three point chances to match Wednesday night’s as he finished 4-10, an attempt number that falls in line with his typical output against Milwaukee, certainly on the high end for attempts. I do think there is a real chance that he will have some opportunities as last year’s performances against the Thunder saw Vooch attempt seven and four three-point in the two games played in 2021-22.
In those two games from last season, Vooch had two of his better night’s of the season, scoring 26 and 31 in the two contests. I think we could see a similar output, and more importantly than the three-point opportunities tonight, I think Vooch could have a huge night inside the paint. OKC ranks 27th in the NBA in points in the paint allowed per game, presumably offering Vooch a chance for a huge night against a front-court lineup that does have some height to them, but not much physicality.
As for the Bulls’ chances themselves, these last two games will certainly give us some confidence and expectation that this should be a win for Chicago, but if OKC comes out firing and SGA is able to score at a high-level, this could be a really tough test for the Bulls. I’ll lay out some trends, positive and negative for each side to give you a picture of what to expect tonight.
Bulls are 5-2-1 ATS their last 8 games following a SU win.
Bulls are 7-16-1 their last 24 on one day of rest.
Bulls are 1-6-1 their last 8 Friday games.
Bulls are 1-3-1 their last 5 meetings in OKC.
Tread lightly on the Chicago Bulls tonight, as this will certainly be a tough test for this team. Expect a nice night from Vooch and hope that the Bulls can hold SGA under 25 points. Let’s see some red tonight, best of luck and GO BULLS!!
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