NBA Basketball Betting: Knicks Look to Find Some Points vs. Bulls
I think the Chicago Bulls have probably surprised an awful lot of NBA basketball bettors at BetOnline. As it turns out, they have rebuilt their roster in a hurry. And now they are the third-place team in the Eastern Conference, while the preseason focus had been on others.
On Sunday night the Bulls take on the New York Knicks in a game that takes place at 8:10 PM ET at the United Center.
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NBA Basketball Betting – The new Bulls
Through some deals in the off-season, Chicago really crafted a roster designed to compete in the East.
They added DeMar DeRozan, who is averaging 26.6 points a game. Lonzo Ball came aboard as the floor leader, and he leads the team in three-point accuracy, hitting at a 43.6% rate. Alex Caruso also came over from the Lakers, where he was a valuable role player. Nikola Vucevic, an All-Star center in Orlando, came in a trade at last year’s deadline.
There are five players averaging at least 3.7 assists, so distribution is strong.
NBA Basketball Betting – Where else are the Bulls strong?
Chicago is the best free-throw shooting team in the NBA (85.8%), and they are shooting 46.7% as a team. They are in the league’s top ten in both Offensive (7th) and Defensive (9th) ratings. They are among the NBA’s top six in both taking care of the ball and creating turnovers.
They are dead last (30th) in three-point attempts. That’s kind of ironic, considering that coach Billy Donovan was a prolific triples shooter in his playing days at Providence.
The Bulls are 11-5 both straight-up and against the spread (ATS). They are favored at home, as it is posted at BetOnline.
Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks Odds
|Knicks||+5½ ( -110 )||211 ( -110 )||+178|
|Bulls||-5½ ( -110 )||211 ( -110 )||-215|
NBA Basketball Betting – What’s going on with the Knicks?
The Knicks are 9-7 SU (7-9 ATS) and they come off a Saturday win over the Houston Rockets. But it wasn’t easy against the cellar-dwellers, as New York had to rally down the stretch to score the 106-99 victory. Alec Burks really came to the rescue with 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Kemba Walker, who was supposed to be the big off-season acquisition to shore up the point guard spot, didn’t even get in the game in the final period. Walker is averaging just 12.2 points and 2.9 assists.
New York got off to a 5-1 start and drew a lot of praise. It’s been a tough slog since.
NBA Basketball Betting – Offense the problem?
When Tom Thibodeau got to the Knicks, he sought to change the “culture,” and indeed he did. This became all about the defense. And the Knicks have certainly been demonstrating that. Right now they are the second-toughest team to shoot on in the NBA, at least by the stats. They have allowed opponents to hit just 42.8% from the field.
Thibodeau wanted his team to shoot more three-pointers this season. And they have. New York is fifth in the NBA in triples made.
But they are not taking good shots inside the arc (just 50.5% on two-pointers). And Evan Fournier, a big off-season signing, hasn’t provided the offensive firepower they were hoping for. The former Orlando star is, like Walker, averaging just 12.2 points and has shot just 35% from the arc. Thus, he has turned up ordinary in the one area the Knicks were looking for a big boost.
NBA Basketball Betting – Our conclusion
That victory against Houston, a winner of just one game, probably brought more head-scratching than satisfaction. And now they take it on the road without rest.
Zach LaVine and DeRozan (who’s actually taken some threes this year) just keep rolling along, combining for over 53 points a game. No, that doesn’t represent balanced scoring. But it will be good enough here, as we lay the points.
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