Spread: New Orleans Pelicans (-3)
Money Line: NO (-145) | CHI (+125)
Tip-Off: 8:00 PM CT
Preview and Best Bet
After yet another close loss (105-101) against the Wizards, the 9-14 Chicago Bulls continue their three-game homestand against the 11-12 New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans has reeled off four straight wins against solid teams in the Suns, Pacers, Grizzlies, and Rockets. Chicago is 4-6 in their last 10 games and will be without Wendell Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, and Chandler Hutchison for an extended period of time. The injury bug has hit the Bulls bigs once again.
The Pelicans scored 130 points in their win against Houston yesterday. Led by reserve Josh Hart (20 points and career-high 17 rebounds), New Orleans pulled off their 4th straight win. Brandon Ingram (22 points) and Zion (20 points) contributed their usual amount of points in the win. The Pelicans have a strong starting five (Ball-Bledsoe-Ingram-Williamson-Adams) and solid reserves (Hart, Redick, Alexander-Walker, and Hayes) which poses a problem for the short-handed Bulls.
Chicago will need to rely heavily on should-be All-Star Zach LaVine (27.4 PPG) more than ever. Additionally, the Bulls will need Coby White, Daniel Gafford, and even Cristiano Felicio to step up in the absence of key players. At 9-14, the Bulls gotta pick up the pace, but its going to be a tough road ahead.
New Orleans put 130 points yesterday, but they could be tired in the second of a back-to-back. However, the Bulls defense is ranked in the bottom of the league, so the Pelicans shouldn’t have much problems scoring. It’ll be interesting to see the Bulls offense after only putting up 101 points in their first game without both Carter Jr. and Markkanen. With all factors considered, I’m taking the under on 230 points.