Bulls vs. Lakers Betting Line: Chicago -8.5 Road Favorite

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
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Bulls vs. Lakers Betting Line: Chicago -8.5 Road Favorite

Carrie Stroup here with your Bulls vs. Lakers betting line  Chicago -8.5, Total: 200.


The Lakers will be looking to prevent an eight-game losing streak when the team hosts the Bulls on Thursday.

The Bulls have not played the way they are capable of recently, losing 89-84 as 6.5-point home favorites against the Heat on Monday for their seventh loss in the past 10 games. Chicago just has not been consistent offensively, shooting less than 45% from the field in eight of the past 10 games. The Bulls will need to find a way to score more efficiently soon or they will continue to slide in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Lakers, meanwhile, have now lost seven straight games after losing 92-90 as 6.5-point home underdogs against the Mavericks on Tuesday. Los Angeles has not been playing well defensively as of late, allowing 110.0 PPG over the course of the losing streak.

The most recent meeting between these two teams was Jan. 29, 2015, when the Lakers beat the Bulls 123-118 as 10-point home underdogs. The Bulls are 3-1 SU in this head-to-head series over the past three seasons, but the teams have split wins ATS in those contests.

There are some trends worth noting in this game that work against each team significantly. Los Angeles is just 4-12 ATS after playing a game as a home underdog this season. Chicago, meanwhile, is 5-14 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season.

The Bulls are in a bit of a funk right now, but they have a good opportunity to get back into the win column with a meeting with the Lakers on Thursday. SG Jimmy Butler (22.3 PPG,5.3 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.7 SPG) is going to need to have a big performance for his team in this one. Butler is averaging just 16.5 PPG over the past two games and that is not going to be enough for Chicago. He is this team’s best offensive weapon and will need to find a way to get buckets against the Lakers on Thursday.

PG Derrick Rose (15.3 PPG, 4.5 APG) will also need to come up with a solid performance in this one. Rose had scored at least 20 points in three straight games before having just 12 against the Cavaliers last Saturday and following that up with four points in a game in which he got hurt against the Heat in. Chicago needs a healthy Rose playing at a high level or the team will not get as far as it wants to this season.

C Pau Gasol (16.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 2.1 BPG) will be a big part of the Bulls’ offense in this game. Gasol has been on fire recently, averaging 20.7 PPG and 12.7 RPG over the past three contests. The Lakers do not have a match for him inside and he should be able to dominate his former team on Thursday.

The Lakers have been miserable all season, but the team has been getting some excellent play from its young players in spurts. If Los Angeles is going to upset Chicago on Thursday then it will need those young guys to play at a high level.

The players who will really need to show up are PG D’Angelo Russell (12.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.2 SPG) and SG Jordan Clarkson (15.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.2 SPG). Russell has been playing a lot better for the Lakers recently, averaging 15.4 PPG over the past five contests. He is shooting 50.8% from the field in that span and will need to be productive in this one. Clarkson, meanwhile, had a huge game against the Mavericks on Tuesday. He finished that one with 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds. If he can continue to impact the game in all aspects then it will really help this Lakers team.

PF Julius Randle (10.6 PPG, 9.6 RPG) is another young guy that Los Angeles will be counting on against Chicago. He was excellent against the Mavericks, finishing with 16 points, 11 boards and two blocks. He finally showed some intensity on the defensive end and will need to keep doing that moving forward.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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