Spread: Houston Rockets (-2)
Money Line: HOU (-130) | CHI (+110)
Tip-Off: 7:00 PM CT
After a much-needed victory over the Dallas Mavericks, the 5-8 Chicago Bulls return home to face the 4-7 Houston Rockets, who are in the post-James Harden era. Both teams are trying to figure out how to win, and this will be a close battle.
Analysis and Best Bet
The Bulls played great basketball yesterday headlined by veterans Garrett Temple (21 points), OPJ (14 points and nine rebounds), and Thad Young (15 points) off the bench. It was later reported that HC Billy Donavan spoke to the three veterans, and it clearly worked. When Zach LaVine only has 10 points (10 assists as well) and Coby White is held without a score, you’d think the Bulls would be put in a tough spot. However, that was not the case, and many other Bulls stepped up, including Lauri Markkanen (29 points and 10 rebounds). Chicago will need those types of contributions once again tonight.
Houston is 1-1 without star James Harden, but the Rockets are playing better team basketball. John Wall and Danuel House will remain out for this matchup, but new acquisition Victor Oladipo will make his team debut tonight. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon will also return to the lineup. Christian Wood (23.2 PPG and 10.9 REB) is the player to watch, and the Bulls must defend him. He’s an underrated star in this league.
Houston averages 109 points per game, and the Bulls were able limit the Mavericks to 101 points yesterday. I highly doubt White and LaVine combine for 10 points tonight. If the Bulls bench can deliver again tonight, I like Chicago against a Houston team still battling injuries. I’m running with the Bulls tonight to cover the spread.