Matchup: Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Clippers
Date/Time: November 17, 10:00 p.m. ET
NBA Betting Odds From Bookmaker Sportsbook
Spread: Los Angeles -5.5
The Chicago Bulls may be without Derrick Rose on Monday night when they open up a seven-game road trip that runs through the end of November. The Los Angeles Clippers will wrap up a four-game homestand on Monday before heading out for a seven-game road trip of their own. The Bulls are used to playing without Rose at this point, but they’re obviously hoping that his hamstring injury feels good enough to have him back in the lineup. Once Rose’s status allows for a line, this preview will be updated to reflect that line.
The Bulls will play seven games in 15 days in seven different cities in their annual “Circus Trip” with the circus in town at United Center. Rose was injured on last year’s circus trip, so the Bulls are certainly hoping for better fortunes this time around. The road has been very kind to the Bulls this season. They are a perfect 5-0 away from United Center this season. The Bulls have the second-best point differential in the Eastern Conference thanks to some solid defense, but that’s largely because of their balance since they rank 11th in points for and 13th in points against on the young season.
Jimmy Butler had 32 in a losing effort for the Bulls at home against the Pacers on Saturday night. The Bulls had won six out of seven before that loss and they’d like to start another stretch like that on the road. The Bulls have averaged 104.6 points in their five road wins and have allowed just 95.8 points per game. Pau Gasol has been a great addition to the lineup with 18.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. He’s shooting nearly 49 percent from the field. He’s one of six Bulls averaging double digits on the season, led by Butler with better than 21 points per game.
Even though Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will get all of the attention, it’s guys like DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford that are providing the spark and balance that NBA teams need to be successful. Jordan is averaging 11 rebounds and three blocked shots per contest while chipping in nine points per game. Crawford is putting up more than 17 points per game and has helped Paul and the Clippers take care of the ball in the backcourt. Of course Paul, with 18 points and 10 assists per game, and Griffin, with 23.6 points per game, are doing their thing, but it’s a bit surprising that the Clippers are just 5-3 given the production that they are receiving.
The Clippers looked like a well-rested team in Saturday’s 120-107 win over Phoenix. After playing five games in eight days to start November, the Clippers had an extended break from November 10 until November 15 and it showed. That rest should help on Monday night and in the first few games of a very long road trip that will take the Clippers as far east as Charlotte and Miami and feature seven games in 10 days. This will be the Clip Show’s first game against an Eastern Conference opponent this season. The Bulls are 1-0 against Western Conference foes with a one-point win over Minnesota.
Free NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers
Derrick Rose will likely be in the lineup for the Bulls, but this is going to be a tough spot for Rose and the Bulls. The Clippers are the fresher team and they will want to head out on the road on a positive note. There will be several great individual matchups to watch in this game with Gasol vs. Griffin, Paul vs. Rose, and Butler vs. Crawford. The Bulls will likely take it easy with Rose in this game and he needs to be really good to cancel out Chris Paul. That doesn’t seem like the case, so the Clippers should take care of business here.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.