Chicago Bulls vs L.A. Clippers Betting Overview
The Chicago Bulls play the L.A. Clippers this Saturday afternoon, with tipoff at 3:30pm Eastern time. The Bulls (26-19) will have had two off days in sunny California after routing the Lakers on Wednesday night, 114-91. The Clippers (30-16) are returning home from a big win in Atlanta to play the Lakers Friday night before facing the Bulls the next afternoon. Don’t forget to check our NBA lines here!
Doc Rivers addresses the media after tonight’s win vs. the Lakers.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 30, 2016
Should you pick the Bulls?
Normally, you would look at Chicago traveling two time zones to the west as a disadvantage. However, the travel factor will be working against the Clippers in this game. They played an emotional game on Wednesday in Atlanta and then will be facing the Lakers on Friday night — before hopping out of bed for a game that will be at 12:30pm local time. Meanwhile, the Bulls will have had two days in L.A. after their tilt at the same arena with the Clippers.
The Clippers also have some tensions in-house to deal with. They’ve gone 13-3 without Blake Griffin so far, but the fact that he will now miss at least four more weeks after breaking his hand in a fight with a team staffer has the Clippers thinking about putting him on the trade block and getting as much as they can. Trade rumors can really pull at team chemistry.
Finally, there’s the rising star power of Jimmy Butler. Once known as a shutdown defender, he has added offense to his repertoire and become one of the dominant players in the game. In 31 minutes against the Lakers, he dropped 26 points on the home team, also posting five boards, 10 assists and four steals. He is leading the Bulls in their ascent in the East alongside Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah.
Should you bet on the Clippers?
The Clippers look to be growing as a team, even with Blake Griffin on the shelf. DeAndre Jordan has started making his free throws (going 6 for 8 in the win over the Hawks). They are returning home to take on the Lakers and then the Bulls the next day. Even when they don’t shoot well (they only went 5 for 27 from three-point land against the Hawks), they are finding ways to get stops against elite competition. For the game, they only shot 39 percent, but they were able to come out on top, grabbing 24 turnovers in the game to get extra chances.
It’s hard to overestimate the Clippers’ 13-3 record without Griffin in the lineup. He is one of the league’s premier passing big men, and the development of his mid-range jumper has made him an excellent complement to the rim-rocking antics of DeAndre Jordan inside. However, he can also sag in and grab a board at the right time, leaping over the opposition.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Given the roll the Clippers are on, I’m taking them to shake off the weariness from the travel and the Friday night game against the Lakers. Look for Doc Rivers to rest as many of his key players as possible on Friday night with the Saturday afternoon tilt looming. The Bulls will present a real challenge, but I like the Clippers to prevail, 103-97.