The Portland Trail Blazers (21-28) visit the Windy City Sunday to play the Chicago Bulls (30-18) at United Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Trail Blazers vs. Bulls odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Portland snapped a two-game losing skid Friday by smacking around the Houston Rockets 125-110 as a 2.5-point road favorite. The Trail Blazers are 6-4 straight-up (SU) and 7-3 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 games.
Chicago also had a two-game winning streak end Friday after losing at San Antonio 131-122 as a 2-point road underdog. The Bulls are 3-7 SU and 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 games.
The Trail Blazers beat the Bulls 112-107 as 3.5-point home favorites in their first meeting this season (Nov. 17). Portland is 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in the past 10 games against Chicago.
Trail Blazers at Bulls odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 5:41 a.m. ET.
Money line: Trail Blazers +220 (bet $100 to win $220) | Bulls -280 (bet $280 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Trail Blazers +6.5 (-112) | Bulls -6.5 (-108)
Over/Under (O/U): 228.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
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Trail Blazers at Bulls key injuries
PF Robert Covington (knee) probable
SF Nassir Little (shoulder) out
PG Damian Lillard (core) out
PF Larry Nance Jr. (knee) out
SF Norman Powell (knee) probable
PG Lonzo Ball (knee) out
SG Alex Caruso (wrist) out
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Trail Blazers at Bulls odds, lines, picks and predictions
Trail Blazers 118, Bulls 114
SPRINKLE on the TRAIL BLAZERS (+220) because this is a fat payout and there’s a bunch of value on Portland plus the points.
The main reason is the Bulls are 25th in defensive rating and the Trail Blazers have bludgeoned bad defenses this month.
Portland is 5-0 in January against teams in the bottom 10 of defensive efficiency. The Blazers own a plus-12.6 adjusted-net rating (ranked fifth) and a plus-11.7 ATS margin (ranked fourth), according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).
Trail Blazers PG Anfernee Simons has filled in nicely in the starting role since Lillard was sidelined with an injury. Simons is averaging 24.4 points on 64.4% true shooting (.485/.444/.897) in January with 7.1 assists and a plus-5 net rating.
Chicago’s backcourt has been weakened by injuries. Both Ball and Caruso were the Bulls’ best two on-ball defenders, so it should be a lot easier for Simons to execute Portland’s offense Sunday.
The Trail Blazers attempt the 10th-highest rate of shots at the rim and the sixth-highest rate of 3-pointers, per CTG.
The Bulls allow the highest volume of shots at the rim and are 26th in defensive 3-point shooting percentage.
Again, SPRINKLE on the TRAIL BLAZERS (+220) if you bet them at all because their spread is the sharper play.
Against the spread
BET TRAIL BLAZERS +6.5 (-112) heavier than or instead of their money line because they have been a lot more profitable on the road lately than the Bulls have been at home.
The Trail Blazers are 5-2 SU in January and 5-2 ATS on the road with a plus-5.5 ATS margin (ranked sixth). Whereas the Bulls are 5-2 SU at home this month and 4-4 ATS with a minus-3.7 ATS margin (ranked 23rd).
PORTLAND +6.5 (-112) is my favorite wager in this game.
Slight “lean” to the OVER 228.5 (-110) for a small wager if at all. I prefer the Portland sides much more than the total, but as previously mentioned, Chicago’s defense has been awful this month and Portland is sixth in effective field-goal shooting.
Also, the Trail Blazers are sixth in 3-point attempt rate and fourth in free-throw attempt rate. I’ve already discussed how poor the Bulls are at defending behind the arc, but Chicago ranks 21st in defensive FT/FGA rate, so there’s a good chance the Trail Blazers earn easy points at the charity stripe.
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