The Chicago Bulls (34-38) visit the Portland Trail Blazers (32-40) on Friday night! Action tips off at 10:10 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Bulls-Blazers prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Chicago has won three of their last four games and sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls covered 49% of their games while 58% went under the projected point total. Portland is coming off a win but has lost six of their last seven games and sunk to 13th place in the East. The Blazers covered 49% of their games while 50% went over. This will be the second and final meeting between the cross-conference foes. Chicago gutted out a 129-121 home win in early February.
Here are the Bulls-Blazers NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Bulls-Blazers Odds
Chicago Bulls: -4.5 (-114)
Portland Trail Blazers: +4.5 (-106)
Over: 222 (-110)
Under: 222 (-110)
How To Watch Bulls vs. Blazers
TV: NBCS Chicago, Root Sports
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Bulls Could Cover The Spread
Chicago has played its way back into the playoff picture as they hold a narrow lead on the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls feature a middling offense that ranks 20th in scoring. Chicago is allergic to the three-ball as they attempt the fewest threes per game. That being said, they remain highly efficient on the offensive end thanks to their sixth-ranked 49% field goal percentage. Additionally, the Bulls do a great job capitalizing on their free throw attempts with an 81% team free throw percentage. Chicago makes its mark on the defensive end where they allow the 10th-fewest points per game. They do an exceptional job limiting transition opportunities and shots the basket. Consequently, Chicago ranks fifth in both defensive categories. While the Bulls aren’t an especially intimidating rebounding unit, they clean up the defensive glass with the second-ranked defensive rebound rate.
They may still sit in the 10th spot in the East but Chicago has vastly improved compared to the first half of the season. That being said, if they want to cover as road favorites tonight they’ll need their stars to continue producing. Guard Zach LaVine has been especially dialed in since the All-Star break. Over his last 13 games, LaVine has averaged 28.8 PPG, 4.2 APG, and 2.8 threes per game. He’s been incredibly efficient as well, shooting 53% overall and 44% from three. LaVine found a ton of success in their earlier win over the Blazers, scoring 36 points on 11/18 shooting. While he is coming off a rough outing against the 76ers, LaVine should bounce back against a suspect Portland defense.
The X-factor for the Bulls tonight is big man Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic continues to put together solid seasons year in and year out. This season has been no different as he’s averaged 17.6 PPG and 11.3 RPG. In addition to ranking fifth in the league in rebounding, Vucevic is shooting 35% from three while nailing 1.6 triples per night. Like LaVine, Vucevic found a lot of success against the Blazers in February when he scored 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Why The Blazers Could Cover The Spread
Portland is running out of time to figure things out as they sit 3.5 games back of the play-in game. They are coming off a huge win against Utah, however, and will get a chance to defend their home court where they have covered 49% of their games. The Blazers feature a solid offense that ranks 15th with 114.4 PPG. They are especially dangerous from beyond the arc, ranking eighth in threes per game while shooting 37% from deep – the 10th-best mark in basketball. Additionally, the Blazers excel at getting to the line where they average the third-most made free throws per game. Defensively, Portland is below average as they allow the 18th-most points per game. They also struggle to rebound the ball, ranking 25th in rebound rate.
If Portland is going to cover as home underdogs tonight, they’re going to need a big night from forward Cam Reddish. With Damian Lillard questionable and both Jerami Grant and Anfernee Simmons out, Reddish could be the No. 1 option for the Blazers’ offense. The former Knick has thrived since being traded to Portland and has looked especially sharp when Dame has missed time
Final Bulls-Blazers Prediction & Pick
Pay close attention to the status of Damian Lillard. Considering the Blazers are missing three other starters, Dame sitting would all but ensure a Bulls cover. That being said, I assume Dame plays tonight and if he does the Blazers should be able to keep things close at home.
Final Bulls-Blazers Prediction & Pick: Portland Trail Blazers +4.5 (-106)