The Chicago Bulls continue their Western Conference road trip as they travel to Phoenix as betting underdogs.
After a back and forth battle, the Chicago Bulls jumped back into the win column on Monday with a 114-107 victory over the Utah Jazz. Former Bull, Lauri Markkanen gave Chicago a run for their money with 32 points, shooting 7-11 from behind the 3-point line.
Tonight’s game will be a different test, as they travel to Phoenix to face a Suns team that stands atop the Western Conference at 14-6, and having won their last five games. Contrary to last season, the Chicago Bulls have had success against the league’s top teams this season.
The injury report is light for Chicago tonight, as Ayo Dosunmu and Alex Caruso are listed as probable, however for Phoenix, the Suns will be without Chris Paul and Cameron Johnson. Both players have been absent dating back to early November.
As for the best bet of the day, I’ve got a bone to pick with this Bulls team and the second half usage of Nikola Vucevic. Two games in a row, Vucevic has hit double digit scoring in the first half against two bottom five teams in points per paint allowed, and have totally abandoned the strategy in the second half.
Of course, Monday’s game against the Jazz ended positively, but the lack of usage in those situations remains bizarre. I’ll be going away from him tonight as the Suns rank near the top of the league in points in the paint allowed, but of course as soon as I jump away from him, he’ll drop 20 on my head.
Nonetheless, I am happy with the effort and defensive boost that this team has shown over the last week, and think we could see more of the same tonight. Best of luck tonight, see red, and GO BULLS!!
2022 Bulls Best Bet Record: 9-11 (2L Streak)
Last Pick: Vucevic Over 16.5 – L
Chicago Bulls +5.5 (Sportsbook odds may vary)
The strategy for tonight’s game is going to be betting on some expected regression for the Phoenix Suns. After a five game winning streak, and now standing on top of the Western Conference, while also facing a currently losing team in the Chicago Bulls, this line seems fairly short to me.
In cases like these where I personally believe the line is too good to be true for that favored team, I also like to get some confirmation with public bias. Betting against the public is not always a strategy to play, but when you couple it with a line that seems fairly short, it can be successful. In tonight’s case we have about 70% of bettors playing the Phoenix Suns at home tonight.
I like the Chicago Bulls’ chances of winning tonight, but at the very least, I believe they have a great opportunity to keep this game close. As mentioned in the intro, this Bulls defense has really improved and with Chris Paul out of this game, the focal point will be slowing down Devin Booker, and forcing him to score entirely by creating his own shot.
During the Suns’ win streak and in the absence of Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton has been extremely efficient scoring in the paint, but looking back, a large portion of that work is against some of the worst teams in the league at defending big men. The Bulls certainly aren’t the tops of the league in that category, but are far more serviceable than Phoenix’s recent opponents.
The Bulls will need to find consistent offense themselves, but I think the story tonight will be the Suns showing some offensive struggles finally in Chris Paul’s absence.
Against the spread, the Chicago Bulls have had success in Phoenix over the past few seasons, as they are 9-3 in their last 12 meetings on the road against the Suns.
I think we see a nice showing from the Bulls defense, and a solid chance of ending the Suns’ five game win streak. Take the Bulls and the points, let’s see some red, and GO BULLS!!
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