On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets (25-14 SU, 15-24 ATS) will meet the Chicago Bulls (27-11 SU, 24-15 ATS) at the United Center. Will the Bulls continue their recent dominance, or will the Nets get back on track?
Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls Betting Odds and Lines
Point spread: Nets +1.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Nets +102 / Bulls -122
Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls Injury Report
All injury reports are at the time of writing. Keep an eye on any late changes as the injury reports are fluid until tip.
For the Nets, Kyrie Irving (Ankle), James Harden (Knee) and Nicolas Claxton (Hamstring Tightness) are questionable. Joe Harris (Ankle Surgery) and LaMarcus Aldridge (Right Foot Soreness) are both out.
The Bulls will be without Alex Caruso (Health and Safety Protocols), Patrick Williams (Wrist Ligament Tear), Javonte Green (Groin) and Tyler Cook.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls Preview
Nets Playing Worst Basketball of the Season
Back on December 27th, the Nets were fresh off of back-to-back road wins against the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. They were atop the Eastern Conference standings and James Harden looked like his old self, dropping 39 points to go along with 15 assists and 8 rebounds against the Clippers without Kevin Durant.
Since then, though, the Nets have been dreadful. Over their previous seven games they’ve gone 2-5 with a bevy of ugly losses against the Bucks, Grizzlies, Clippers and Blazers. They also barely skated by a shorthanded Spurs team and had to overcome a 20 point deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers on January 5th.
Over this seven game stretch, the Nets are 20th in Net Rating, 26th in Defensive Rating and 16th in Offensive Rating. The biggest concern there is the defensive slide. For most of the season up until Christmas, the Nets had been a top ten defensive unit.
They’ve also been dealing with the absence of Joe Harris and LaMarcus from the lineup, which has hurt them offensively more than anything. The Nets have been a bottom ten team for the past 10 days, and an immediate fix doesn’t appear immediately on the surface.
Bulls Proving Themselves
If there is an antithesis to the Brooklyn Nets’ last seven games, it’s the Chicago Bulls. At 27-11, the Bulls own the best record in the Eastern Conference. Over their past seven games, they are 7th in Offensive Rating, 9th in Defensive Rating and 4th in Net Rating.
With that said, they have faced a rather soft schedule of late. Their opponents have included the Pacers twice, the Wizards twice, the Pistons and the Magic. On Tuesday night, they embarrassed Detroit, beating them 133-87.
But we can’t take away from a unit that’s loaded with talent in Demar Derozan, Zach LaVine, Nicola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball and Ayo Dosonmu. The Bulls have gotten contributions from just about everyone on their roster, and they will be around as a contender by season’s end.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction
Although the Bulls have been the better team of late, I think we’re getting a golden opportunity to back Brooklyn. Just wait until all three of Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant are confirmed to play.
If the Nets have those three on the floor together, I think they’ll be too much for a Bulls team that hasn’t seen stiff competition in their past 8 games. The Nets also have revenge on their minds, as they’ve dropped both meetings with the Bulls this season.
While the Nets have been underwhelming of late, I like the contrarian spot to back them tonight. A majority of the bets and the tickets are backing Chicago as short home favorites, but I’m going the other way with what should be a motivated Nets team.
All betting lines were retrieved from BetOnline. Click below to claim a free bet, if you’re a new customer.