Bulls vs. Clippers Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The late game on Sunday features teams trending in opposite directions. The Chicago Bulls, who got off to a 6-1 start, have lost three out of their last five outings. In addition, they’ve lost Patrick Williams to a season-ending injury and Nikola Vucevic will be out due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
On the other hand, the Los Angeles Clippers have reeled off seven consecutive wins after a 1-4 beginning to the season. This team has been clicking on all cylinders, getting a balanced contribution from their entire roster.
So, can the Clippers keep up their recent streak? Or, can the up-and-coming Bulls break this streak on the road? Let’s break down this matchup to see if we can find a betting edge.
The Bulls have shocked the NBA with their excellent play, which includes wins against the Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz, plus a comeback victory against the Boston Celtics after outscoring them 39-11 in the fourth quarter. They rank top 10 in Offense Rating (eighth — 109.1) and Defensive Rating (seventh — 104.5) through Saturday’s games, per NBA Advanced Stats.
DeMar DeRozan has had a resurgence in his career. He is second on the team in points per game (26.8) and has exceeded 30 points in three games. He joins Zach LaVine to give the Bulls a potent offensive attack that will put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.
Vucevic will not be suiting up for the Bulls. However, this might be a positive for the team. He’s having an off year, averaging 13.6 points per game on 39.5% shooting from the field.
Looking at the On/Off numbers, the Bulls’ Offensive Rating increases from 108.6 to 112.3 when he is off the court, per Basketball Reference. Their Defensive Rating suffers from 103.4 to 109.4 when he is off the court. Both of those factors indicate that there could be more points on the board in his absence, supporting the case to bet an over.
In his absence, I expect the Bulls to play smaller lineups and we should see more minutes for Derrick Jones and Alex Caruso. Even though their offense didn’t look great last game without Vucevic, it was against the Warriors, who have the league’s best defense. I believe they should fare better against the Clippers, whose defense could struggle on the second night of a back-to-back.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers continue to impress the league in this most recent seven-game win streak. After their 1-4 start, many were pessimistic on the Clippers’ outlook, especially without Kawhi Leonard. Tyronn Lue has this squad playing excellent basketball and Paul George has been incredible.
During the seven-game span of their winning streak, the Clippers rank third in the NBA in Offensive Rating (113.7), per NBA Advanced Stats. They have been shooting it at 39.5% from behind the arc during this time, which is second in the league behind the Brooklyn Nets.
The total has gone over in five of their previous six games because of their scoring prowess. They might be on the second game of back-to-back, but their starters did not play too many minutes in their blowout win against the Timberwolves.
With Chicago’s smaller lineup without Vucevic and Williams, I don’t see the Bulls’ defense being that effective. They rank 24th in 3-point percentage allowed (36.2%), an area the 3-point happy Clippers can exploit.
Ivica Zubac is having a career year with Los Angeles. He’s notched four double-doubles in the previous five games. Surprisingly enough, he has the highest individual Offensive Rating on the Clippers and contributes the most Offensive Win Shares on the team, per Basketball Reference.
Zubac is a great finisher on pick-and-rolls, plus he sets excellent screens. His ability to get offensive rebounds gives the Clippers chances to get second chance points. With Vucevic out, I expect Zubac to have a big game.
It’s tough to fade the Clippers with their recent win streak and the Bulls’ injuries. However, Chicago has been impressive and could keep it close against the Clippers on the second night of a back-to-back. Instead of focusing on a side, I am siding with a total, as I believe this has the potential to be a high-scoring game.
Home teams on a second game of a back-to-back off a win that went over to total have gone 126-96-7 (58.6%) to the over, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog. This is active on the Clippers. The offenses still continue to flourish after that win, despite no rest.
The Bulls will play smaller with Vucevic out. Their defense will not be as good and surprisingly, with how poor Vucevic has been shooting, I think this will help their offense as well. Also, I am counting on the Clippers to continue their hot shooting.
That said, I can see this game finishing to the 220s and am recommending a pick on the over as my top selection.
Pick: Over 219