The Chicago Bulls’ West Coast swing continues when they visit the Kings in Sacramento on Monday night. Here’s your betting breakdown and analysis, followed by betting lines for the full NBA Monday slate.
Bulls at Kings (-5, 211)
The disappointing losses are piling up for the Bulls, who have lost three straight (Trail Blazers twice, Warriors once). More important for bettors, they’re struggling against the spread. After a 6-6 ATS start to 2019, Chicago is 2-6 against the line its last eight, though it covered against Portland in a 107-103 loss as a 7-point underdog its last game.
Jim Boylen’s post-game remarks are not exactly confidence-inspiring:
Lauri Markkanen seems to regress by the game – he’s shooting 26.9% from the floor over his last five outings, and his poor offensive play is infecting his defense. The hope is he can return somewhere close to his 2018-19 form, but the Bulls are going to remain one of the worst teams in the NBA if Markkanen keeps playing the way he’s been. They had only an outside shot to make the playoffs factoring in some improvement from Markkanen; instead, he’s playing the worst ball of his career.
Boylen and Markkanen are culprits 1A and 1B for Chicago, but Otto Porter’s absence hasn’t been talked about enough. He’s the competent 3-and-D wing essential in today’s NBA, and even when he was healthy, the Bulls didn’t have enough depth at that spot. Subtract Porter from the lineup (he hasn’t played since November 6), and you’re trotting out guys like Kris Dunn and Shaq Harrison at what’s arguably the most important position in basketball. Throw in Zach LaVine’s slight regression, and it’s easy to see why the Bulls are scuffling.
The Kings, meanwhile, are in the midst of a bonkers ATS hot streak. Sacramento has covered 12 of its last 13 numbers and is 8-5 straight up in that span.
De’Aaron Fox’s injury is a factor in why the Kings have been so undervalued by the market, but they’ve fared just fine without him. While the Bulls lack good players at wing, the Kings have two in Harrison Barnes and Bogdan Bogdanovic, each averaging over 15 points per game and playing sound defense. And Buddy Hield is one of the most underrated shooting guards in the NBA.
Sacramento has been favored only three times in this 13-game stretch, and this 5-point number against the Bulls is the largest the Kings have been asked to cover since Oct. 30, when they lost to the Hornets outright.
Fun fact: Sacramento started the season 0-5 SU and ATS. What a turnaround it’s been.
Bulls vs. Kings trends
-Chicago is 3-11-1 ATS in its last 15 games against Sacramento.
-The total has gone UNDER in five of Chicago’s last seven games.
-The total has gone UNDER in Sacramento’s last five games.
-Sacramento is 5-1 SU in its last six games against a Central Division opponent.
Here’s the full NBA Monday slate.
NBA betting lines
Suns (-4.5, 224) at Hornets
Jazz at 76ers (-6, 208.5)
Warriors at Hawks (-6.5, 223)
Knicks at Bucks (-16.5, 220.5)
Pacers (-9.5, 216) at Grizzlies
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