Denver Nuggets vs Chicago Bulls

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Denver Nuggets travel to the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, to battle the Chicago Bulls in Monday night NBA action beginning at 9 pm EST. Currently, the Nuggets are favored by 4.5-points, down from 5.5 at the opening, while the total stands at 228.5-points.

The Nuggets were able to atone for a slim loss in the opener of their 5-game road trip versus the Washington Wizards Thursday night to take out the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday night by 29-points. Denver was able to jump out to an 18-point lead at the end of the opening period and never looked back as the offense was on fire shooting 55% while nailing 15 3-pointers, 9 total by Jamal Murray along with Michael Porter, Jr. (who posted a double-double). Furthermore, Nikola Jokic posted a triple-double in the contest as the Nuggets won their 18th game of the year while halting a 3-game skid against the spread covering as 6.5-point favorites.

The Bulls were not able to take the court versus the Toronto Raptors Sunday night due to a worsening situation related to the pandemic as the Raptors were without their head coach, many of his assistants, along with Pascal Siakam on the bench in Friday night’s 11-point win over the Houston Rockets. Nonetheless, the Bulls are winners of 3 of their last 4 outings; Yet, are coming off a 9-point home loss to the Phoenix Suns last Friday as they allowed the Suns to rally in the 4th-period to outscore them by a margin of 32-16 to take the win. And while Chicago is 3-1 ATS in their last 4 outings, they failed to cover as 6.5-point dogs versus the Suns.

In head to head action, the Nuggets have dominated this series picking up wins in 8 of the last 10 meetings, including in 3-straight at the United Center. Denver is also 8-2 ATS in their last 10 versus the Bulls while going 4-1 in this area in their last 5 roadies.

Nuggets shine versus Thunder for win

Murray and Porter, Jr. destroyed Oklahoma City from the perimeter going a combined 9-14 from long-range while Jokic dominated in the paint as he ended with 19 points, 11 rebounds, along with 13 dimes on 8-10 shooting in the blowout victory for the Nuggets, his 3rd triple-double in 7 games. Will Barton along with Monte Morris also chipped in 15 and 13 points, respectively, as all starters recorded double-figures.

Important to note that the Nuggets have been able to win 3 of 5 without some key pieces in the lineup due to injury such as Gary Harris (thigh/out indefinitely), Paul Millsap (knee/out indefinitely), along with JaMychal Green (shoulder/questionable).

They will now take on a Bulls team that they have not taken the floor against since January of 2019 when the Nuggets took a 30-point home win. Worth noting that Denver has had tons of success as of late at the United Center picking up 3-straight wins by an average margin of victory of 17 points. However, the Nuggets are just a game above .500 on the road this year while going 3-7 ATS in their last 10 away from home.

Bulls look to get back on winning track

With Zack LaVine in the lineup, the Bulls have catapulted themselves into one of the more potent offensive teams in the league averaging 115 points per game on 49% shooting (38% from long-range). LaVine has been instrumental in the team’s offensive dominance posting 30 or more in 7 of the team’s last 10 outings. And while the guard posted 24 points versus the Suns in their most recent loss, he shot better than 50% for the contest while going 4-8 from long-range to raise his shooting percentages to 52% FG along with 44% from deep on the year.

Shooting guard Coby White along with Thaddeus Young have supplied some solid minutes on the offensive end as well averaging 16 and 12 points per game, respectively. However, it has been the perimeter defense that has failed Chicago throughout the season as they are allowing teams to shoot 47% from the floor while connecting on 35% of their shots from long-range.

On the other hand, it should be mentioned that the Bulls have fared much better in recent outings allowing just an average of 111 points in their last 10. However, the Nuggets have had some monster games versus Chicago in recent matchups posting at least 110 points in 6 of their last 7 meetings, including 135 in their last matchup January of 2019.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

The Nuggets have picked up wins against the spread in 2 of their last 3 road games in addition to going 4-1 ATS in their last 5 at the United Center.  Furthermore, the Nuggets will have had some time to rest as they have not taken the floor since Saturday night.  Look for the Bulls to be competitive, however, I simply do not see them having an answer for Denver’s 1-2 punch in Murray and Jokic.

Denver Nuggets -4.5

Want another opinion on this pick?


Full-Game Total Pick

With the way both teams have been putting points on the board as of late, I happen to like the over in this contest.  Besides, the over is 6-1 in the last 6 meetings versus these 2 squads while also being the result in 3 of the last 4 road games for the Nuggets (4-2 in last 4 homers for Bulls).  In all, expect this to be a back and forth affair versus teams that like to push the basketball and are very efficient.

Over 235.5