NBA Betting Odds January 29: Bulls vs. Lakers, Nuggets vs. Grizzlies

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
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NBA Betting Odds January 29: Bulls vs. Lakers, Nuggets vs. Grizzlies

NBA betting odds for January 29 for the Bulls vs. Lakers and Nuggets vs. Grizzlies games appear below along with today’s previews.  As these are televised nationally, you can bet them LIVE IN-PLAY at here.

CHICAGO BULLS (30-17) at LOS ANGELES LAKERS (12-34) Line: Chicago -9.5, Total: 194.5

The Lakers will look to end a nine-game losing skid when they host the Bulls on Thursday night.

Chicago has not been the dominant team that many thought it would be this season, but may have turned a corner after winning three of the past four games (SU and ATS) with each victory coming as the underdog. Each team the Bulls defeated is a likely playoff team in the Western Conference and they scored a robust 106.3 PPG in the victories.

On Tuesday they began a six-game road trip with the daunting task of facing Golden State at Oracle Arena, but they showed up in a big way and prevailed 113-111 in overtime while getting 11.5 points. The difference-maker in the victory was actually the charity stripe, as Chicago got to the line 23 times, making 21 (91% FT), while the Warriors were a mere 6-for-12 from the charity stripe.

The Lakers' season continues to snowball and winning has become even more difficult with the loss of their leader, Kobe Bryant, for the duration of the season. Their last stretch of games has been horrendous, as they haven’t recorded a win since Jan. 9 (nine games) and have been defeated by an average of 10.4 PPG in that period. Los Angeles has also hurt bettors and covered just once during the losing streak, as it kept the game close against the Wizards on Tuesday, but still lost 98-92 as a 9-point underdog. L.A came out strong early, but were outscored 52-35 in the second half as they allowed Washington to make 49% of its FG attempts.

The Bulls have been one of the better road teams in the NBA at 17-6 SU (13-10 ATS), and could easily grab another victory, as L.A. is a meager 6-17 SU (9-12-2 ATS) at Staples Center. Chicago has had no issues beating up on the Lakers in recent memory and did so in the first meeting between the clubs this season when the Bulls hosted them on Christmas Day, picking up a big 113-93 victory as 12-point favorites. It was Chicago’s sixth win in the past seven meetings, as it is 4-3 ATS in that time while holding Los Angeles to a mere 89.0 PPG.

Trends show that the Bulls are 18-10 ATS (64%) after five straight games forcing their opponent to commit 14 or less turnovers in the past three seasons, but L.A. is 7-1 ATS (88%) after six consecutive losses in the same span. On the injury front, SF Mike Dunleavy (ankle) and SG Jimmy Butler (illness) remain questionable for Chicago and the Lakers have SG Kobe Bryant (shoulder) out for the season and SG Nick Young (ankle) questionable.                         

Chicago had one of the worst offenses in the NBA last season, but between the acquisition of PF Pau Gasol (18.3 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 2.2 BPG) and the maturation of SG Jimmy Butler’s game (20.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.8 SPG), the club has risen up to ninth in the league with 102.0 PPG on 44.4% shooting. The Bulls had to give away a little on defense to improve so much on offense and have let their opponents score 99.4 PPG this season, while making 44.2% of their shots (8th in league). Gasol posted his seventh straight double-double on Tuesday night, scoring 18 points to go with 16 rebounds, as he also added eight assists and four blocks. He also crushed the Lakers for 23 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks in the win on Christmas Day.

Butler missed the win over Golden State with an illness, and the Bulls hope to get their leading scorer back after he’s scored 20+ points in three of his past six outings and played a great all-around game (21 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks) when matched up against L.A. last time.

PG Derrick Rose (18.6 PPG, 4.9 APG) has been getting to the basket more often, and despite having 11 turnovers and just one assist against Golden State, he was able to grab seven boards and pump in 30 points, including the game-winning shot in overtime. Rose went for 20 points and six assists when these teams met back in December.

The Lakers’ offense took a hit with SG Kobe Bryant (22.3 PPG) now expected to miss the rest of the season, and they continue to fall, as they are averaging 99.1 PPG (12th-worst in league) on a putrid 43.5% shooting (6th-worst in NBA). Unfortunately, it only gets worse on the defensive end, as the unit is allowing 106.0 PPG (2nd-worst in league) on a 46.6% FG clip (2nd-worst in NBA).

C Jordan Hill (12.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG) has hit a mere 42% of his shots in the past five games, but has still managed double-digit points in 11 of his past 12 contests. He was on the court for 31 minutes against the Bulls on Christmas Day, scoring 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting, as he added six rebounds.

PG Jeremy Lin (10.5 PPG, 4.6 APG, 1.1 SPG) has made 9-of-27 shots (33% FG) in his past four outings, but still managed to be productive with averages of 9.5 PPG, 6.8 APG and 1.8 SPG. The Bulls shut him down the last time they squared off, as Lin scored a meager six points and recorded two steals.

PF Carlos Boozer (12.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG) had only four points and four rebounds against the Wizards just two days after a huge performance (18 points, 11 rebounds) in a loss to Houston. He played an effective 17 minutes against his former team last month, hitting 7-of-11 shots for 14 points, and also added five rebounds.            

DENVER NUGGETS (19-27) at MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (33-12) Line: Memphis -10, Total: 199

The red-hot Grizzlies look to win their fifth straight game on Thursday night when they host the struggling Nuggets.

Denver snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 93-85 win-and-cover in New Orleans on Wednesday night. The Nuggets have now covered in three straight games, but they are struggling mightily on both ends of the floor. Over the course of their win drought, they allowed 108.6 PPG and scored only 97.7 PPG. They’ll need to improve drastically on both ends moving forward, but the victory over the Pelicans was a step in the right direction for their defense that held New Orleans to 39.0% FG.

The Grizzlies beat the Mavericks 109-90 for a win-and-cover on the road on Tuesday. They have now won four straight games and eight of their past nine contests (6-2-1 ATS). Their offense has really clicked over the past week, averaging 104.3 PPG over the past three contests. They’ve also allowed just 88.3 PPG over the past four contests, which is even better than their already excellent 97.1 PPG allowed (3rd in NBA) on the season.

These two teams played one another on Jan. 3 and the Nuggets won that game 114-85 as 2-point home favorites. These teams have split victories SU in their past four meetings, but the Nuggets are 3-1 ATS in those contests. The Grizzlies are, however, 6-1 SU in their past seven games hosting the Nuggets. Memphis is 4-3 ATS in those seven games and they’ve covered in two of their past three as well.

This Denver team is 10-4 ATS after three straight games committing 14 or less turnovers over the past three seasons. They are, however, up against a Grizzlies squad that is 9-2 ATS off a double-digit win as an underdog in that time. PG Mike Conley (wrist) and SG Tony Allen (ankle) are both questionable for the Grizzlies on Thursday, while the Nuggets are injury-free.

Denver picked up a much-needed victory over the Pelicans last game and it will now look to end the Grizzlies winning streak. One area where Denver will make things tough on Memphis is in the rebounding department, as the Nuggets are averaging 45.4 RPG (5th in NBA). They’ll need to be all over the glass in this one or the Grizzlies’ frontcourt will absolutely dominate them.

When these teams met on Jan. 3, PG Ty Lawson (16.8 PPG 10.0 APG, 1.3 SPG) finished the game with 25 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and two steals. His speed was too much for Memphis, and he’ll look to keep his team running in this one as well.

SG Arron Afflalo (15.3 PPG) is coming off of a 20-point game against the Pelicans on Wednesday, and torched the Grizzlies for 23 points (8-of-12 FG, 2-of-3 threes) in their last meeting in what was one of his best games of the season. He’ll need to be knocking down shots again in this one, as Memphis is weakest at the shooting guard position.

PF Kenneth Faried (12.0 PPG, 8.9 RPG) has scored 14 points in each of the past two games for Denver, but is averaging just 4.5 RPG in those contests. He is going up against Zach Randolph in this game, and Faried will get shredded by the Grizzlies’ big man if he is not rebounding well.

C Jusuf Nurkic (6.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.2 BPG) is going to need to stay out of foul trouble in this game, or his team will really get destroyed in the paint. Denver needs his size on the floor, as he had 15 points and nine rebounds in the win over the Pelicans last game and is the only player that can truly size up Marc Gasol.

The Grizzlies are on a roll recently, and PF Zach Randolph (17.1 PPG, 11.9 RPG) has been playing some of the best basketball of his career. Randolph has now had a double-double in 10 straight games, and he’s averaging 19.6 PPG, 13.1 RPG and 2.8 APG in the month of January. The big man was out the last time the Grizzlies faced the Nuggets, and his presence in the paint should completely change the dynamic of this matchup. His size could be a major issue for the smaller Kenneth Faried, and an 11th straight double-double is certainly a strong possibility.

C Marc Gasol (18.9 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.7 BPG) had 18 points, five rebounds and three blocks the last time these teams met. Gasol did not rebound the ball well in that game and has just one double-digit rebounding performance in his past six games. He’ll need to be more of a presence on the glass going forward, but he is still playing extremely well offensively. Gasol will need to be crafty in the post and try to get the impatient Jusuf Nurkic off-balance in order to get him into foul trouble.

PG Mike Conley (17.4 PPG, 5.6 APG, 1.2 SPG) really struggled offensively in the last meeting between these two teams with just eight points and five assists in 25 minutes Conley also failed to stay in front of Ty Lawson, who dominated the game. If Conley is healthy enough to play on Thursday, he will need to hold his own in the head-to-head battle with Lawson. In the two games before sitting out against the Mavericks, Conley averaged just 7.0 PPG and 0.5 APG in 21.5 MPG. He really needs to start playing better, as it will be hard for Memphis to continue to win games without its floor general playing at a high level.

SF Jeff Green (16.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG) was not on the Grizzlies when the team faced the Nuggets earlier in the season. His presence on the outside makes things a lot easier for the Grizzlies’ big men to go to work, and he could be the x-factor in this one.

- Carrie Stroup, Senior Reporter

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