The New York Knicks travel to the United Center for a matchup with the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night. The Knicks (9-7 SU, 7-9 ATS) are on the second night of a back-to-back after defeating the Rockets by 7 at Madison Square Garden Saturday night. The Bulls (11-5 SU, 11-5 ATS) just finished a five-game West Coast Trip where they went 3-2 with wins over the Lakers, Nuggets and Clippers.
Will the Bulls return to the United Center with a win? Or will the Knicks steal one on the road?
New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Betting Lines
Point Spread: Bulls -5
Money Line: Knicks +175 / Bulls -210
Total: Over/Under 209.5
New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Injury Report
The Knicks have three players listed as day-to-day heading into this matchup. Taj Gibson (groin), Mitchell Robinson (nose) and Obi Toppin (leg). Robinson and Obi both left the game last night against the Rockets mid-contest.
For the Bulls, Javonte Green (ankle) is probable to play, while Nicola Vucevic is unlikely to return after he entered health and safety protocols back on November 11th. Though, he is due to return soon.
New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Preview
Knicks Struggling After Hot Start
The Knicks started the season 5-1 and have since gone 4-6, including 3-7 ATS. Over those ten games, the Knicks rank 23rd in the NBA in Offensive Rating and 13th in Defensive Rating. They are also 22nd in Net Rating and 25th in Effective Field Goal % over that span, per NBA Advanced Stats.
Through the first six games of the season, the Knicks were 3rd in Offensive Rating, 21st in Defensive Rating and 2nd in Effective Field Goal %, per NBA Advanced Stats. They were also 6th in Net Rating. Their drop-off has a lot to do with their shooting woes. They were 2nd in the NBA in three-point % in October, but are 18th in the league since.
Bulls Building a Case for Legitimacy
I’d be lying if I said I thought the Bulls would be 11-5 through their first 16 games. But to this point they are 4th in Net Rating, 7th in Offensive Rating and 6th in Defensive Rating, per NBA Advanced Stats. They are also 9th in Effective Field Goal %, even with Demar Derozan taking all the mid-range jumpers you could imagine. In fact, the Bulls have been one of the best three-point shooting teams this season, ranking 4th in Effective 3-Point %, according to Dunks and Threes. They are also 6th in FG % from midrange in the NBA, per Dunks and Threes.
The Bulls have been getting huge contributions from Demar Derozan and Zach Lavine. Both are averaging more than 26 points per game, while Lonzo Ball is averaging 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game. Alex Caruso has also been a welcome addition to this team, averaging 2.4 steals per game to go along with 8 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. They’ve also been playing well without Nicola Vucevic, as Derrick Jones Jr. has filled in nicely in some spots.
New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction and Pick
These two teams met back on October 28th, when the Knicks were playing like world-beaters, with New York logging a 104-103 win as one-point underdogs at MSG. Since then, the Knicks have gone in the wrong direction. To make this spot worse for them, they are 2-6 ATS off a win this season. The Bulls are 5-2 ATS at home and are 3-2 ATS with a rest advantage. The Knicks played ugly against the Rockets last night, perhaps the worst team in the NBA, and the Bulls are coming home off of a long West Coast trip to what should be a great atmosphere at the United Center. I think the Bulls exact their revenge on the Knicks in this one and run away with the win at home.