The Chicago Bulls (8-16) welcome the Toronto Raptors (15-7) to the United Center in NBA action on Monday evening.
The Bulls were in action on the road on Sunday night, when they took the Miami Heat to overtime before going down to a 110-105 loss.
Lauri Markkanen scored a team-high 22 points for the Bulls, although he missed a potentially game-tying corner 3-pointer with about 1.5 seconds left in overtime. Zach LaVine added 18 points and there were 16 from Kris Dunn.
The Bulls have now lost eight of their last 12 games and they have also failed to make the most of home-court advantage this season, where they are only 4-8.
The Raptors suffered a third straight loss on Sunday night when they went down 110-104 on the road to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kyle Lowry had 26 points, OG Anunoby had 19 points and 10 rebounds, but Pascal Siakam had something of an off day as he was restricted to 16 points and seven rebounds.
The loss made it the first time since November 2018 that Toronto has dropped three games in a row. The three losses can in part be put down to a tough schedule that has seen the Raptors go up against Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and the 76ers in consecutive games.
There would be more cause for concern should they fail to win against the Bulls, a team they have beaten on 10 straight occasions, including 108-84 in their first meeting this season.
Sunday’s loss did feature a further blow, with Fred VanVleet suffering a right knee contusion that saw him play just 12 minutes is likely to mean that he’s unable to play on Monday. From a positive perspective, the Raptors had trailed by 21 points at one stage on Sunday, but they rallied to outscore the Sixers 36-24 in the fourth quarter.
In statistical comparisons, Chicago is currently averaging 106.0 Points per Game (PPG) and allowing 109.2 (PA), while Toronto are averaging 112.5 PPG on the offensive end, while giving up 105.9 PA.
Chicago Bulls vs Toronto Raptors Betting Lines & Pick
Even allowing for the gulf in quality between the teams, with both playing on back-to-back days and with Toronto having a far shorter trip between games, the tip is to back the Raptors on the Point Spread -4.5 at -110 (1.90) with bet365.
NBA Picks: Point Spread – Toronto Raptors -4.5 @ -110 (1.90) with bet365
Player Match Up: Zach LaVine v Pascal Siakam
LaVine leads Chicago in scoring for the season with 22.3 Points per Game (PPG). He’s only at 4.2 rebounds per game and is a shade under 43 when shooting from the floor at 42.9%. From the free throw line he’s 80.5%.
Pascal not only leads the Raptors in scoring, but he ranks in the top dozen in the NBA with 24.6 PPG. He adds 8.5 rebounds per game. Siakam is 46.0 % while shooting from the floor and 81.6% from the line.
Everything in this matchup favours Siakam, which is in keeping with the greater quality on the Raptors roster compared to that of the Bulls.