The Portland Trail Blazers continue their six-game road trip Saturday, January 30, so here’s the best betting pick for their interconference clash against the Chicago Bulls along with the key betting tips and trends and the latest odds update on BetMGM Sportsbook.
Portland is still quite shorthanded and will take the floor at United Center without C.J. McCollum (foot), Jusuf Nurkic (wrist), Zach Collins (ankle), and Derrick Jones Jr. (foot), while Robert Covington (concussion) is questionable to play. On the other side, Chicago misses Wendell Carter Jr. due to a thigh injury.
The Trail Blazers blew a 20-point lead in Houston
The Portland Trail Blazers (9-8; 7-10 ATS) are coming off a 104-101 loss at the Houston Rockets this past Thursday, recording their second straight defeat and third in the last four outings. The Blazers stormed the front and built a 20-point lead already in the first quarter, but they allowed the Rockets to cut the deficit in the second and grab a three-point lead at halftime.
Damian Lillard had 30 points and nine assists, while Gary Trent Jr. added 23 points on 7-for-13 from downtown, but the Trail Blazers were not aggressive enough down the stretch and finished with only eight free-throw attempts.
Portland played solid defense against Houston, holding the Rockets to 42.2% shooting from the field and 27.7% from beyond the arc. However, the Trail Blazers have struggled mightily so far this season, surrendering a whopping 114.6 points per 100 possessions (28th in the NBA). They score 113.6 in a return (6th) but make just 44.1% of their field goals (26th).
The Bulls hope to snap a two-game skid
The Chicago Bulls (7-10; 11-6 ATS) continue a five-game homestand, looking to get back on the winning path after a couple of losses to the Los Angeles Lakers 101-90 and Boston Celtics 119-103. They struggled to cope with the Lakers’ stout D, making just 39.3% of their field goals, while the Bulls’ defense failed to slow down the Celtics, allowing them to shoot 50.6% from the field and 51.7% from downtown.
Zach LaVine dropped 30 points on Boston while making 57.9% of his field goals, but over his last two outings, LaVine turned the ball over 13 times. He’s averaging 27.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on the season, whilst Lauri Markkanen adds 18.5 points and 6.5 boards a night.
The Bulls are 18th in the league in points scored per 100 possessions (109.8), eighth in field goal percentage (47.4%), and sixth in 3-point percentage (38.3). They surrender 112.6 points per 100 possessions (26th) on 48.0% shooting from the field (28th).
- 1-5 ATS in the last six games overall
- 2-7 ATS in the last nine games as underdogs
- 11-4 ATS in the last 15 games overall
- 8-2 ATS in the last ten games against the Western Conference
I’m expecting a hard-fought battle between a couple of bad defensive teams and backing the Bulls to win and cover makes sense because of all the injury problems within the Trail Blazers. Chicago is only 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS in its last eight encounters with Portland, but the Bulls outlasted the Trail Blazers 111-108 as 9.5-point road dogs on January 5, 2021.
Portland blew a 20-point lead in its first meeting of the season with Chicago, so nothing’s guaranteed in Saturday’s clash at United Center.
Pick: Take Chicago -2.0 at -110
Considering how poorly these two teams defend, betting on the over seems like the best pick for Saturday’s matchup. Furthermore, the Bulls play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA, recording 104.4 possessions per 48 minutes, while the Trail Blazers are 14th with 100.2 possessions per 48 minutes.
The under has hit in the last three meetings between Portland and Chicago, but the over is 6-3 in the Bulls’ last nine outings, and it is 3-1 in the Trail Blazers’ previous four showings.
Pick: Go over 232.0 points at -110