The Chicago Bulls (13-18) battle the New York Knicks (18-14) at Madison Square Garden Friday. Tip from New York City is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the Bulls vs. Knicks odds, and make our expert NBA picks and predictions.
The Bulls, who seem to be having on-court issues between their 2 stars (G Zach LaVine and F DeMar DeRozan), have won 2 in a row, beating the Hawks 110-108 on the road Wednesday, covering as 5-point underdogs. The Bulls are 4-6 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 games.
The Knicks lost 113-106 Wednesday, failing to cover as 2-point home favorites against the Toronto Raptors. That snapped a streak of 8 straight ATS covers for New York. Crazy enough, the Knicks are 8-8 straight up at home and 10-6 straight up on the road. They are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games though.
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Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11:16 a.m. ET.
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Knicks 115, Bulls 112
The Bulls at (+190) actually has some value, but I would prefer to play the ATS odds, especially considering the 5.5-point spread.
BET BULLS +5.5 (-105).
The Bulls main weakness comes in their inability to defend the 3. They rank 28th in opponents’ 3-point shooting (37.7%). Luckily, for them, the Knicks rank 25th in 3-point percentage (33.4%).
The Bulls have also been playing better as of late and have a negative sentiment around their team which should make the Knicks the public favorite. Chicago has won 2 straight against strong Eastern Conference teams, Atlanta and Miami.
New York is just 6-8-2 ATS as the home side, so it hasn’t played better at home. Considering C Nikola Vucevic has improved his 3-point shooting, hitting at least 2 triples in his last 3 games, C Mitchell Robinson may not be able to operate strictly in the paint, another way DeRozen and LaVine will be freed up.
Combine the play styles with the Knicks’ struggles at home, and I would back the BULLS +5.5 (-105) here.
LEAN OVER 225.5 (-11).
The Bulls have scored at least 110 in 3 straight games and are 4-3 O/U in their last 7. They also rank 6th in field goal percentage (48.3%) and 4th in free throw percentage (82%).0
The Knicks have gone Over in 3 of their last 5. Both teams rank top 20 in pace with the Knicks sitting 18th and Bulls 10th.
Chicago should want this game played at a high pace, and without Ball and potentially Caruso, their backcourt has struggled defensively. G Jalen Brunson could abuse those shortcomings.
Ultimately, back the OVER 225.5 (-110).
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