The Jazz is on a seven-game winning streak and has won eight of their last ten games as they hold the first seed in the Western Conference with a record of 36-11. Meanwhile, the Bulls have lost five straight games and seven of their last ten games to drop to the tenth seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 19-27.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Bulls-Jazz odds.
NBA Odds: Bulls-Jazz Odds
Chicago Bulls +12.5 (-107)
Utah Jazz -12.5 (-113)
Over 225 Points (-110)
Under 225 Points(-110)
Why The Bulls Could Cover The Spread
The Bulls have been very disappointing since trading for Nikola Vucevic, to say the least, as they have lost five straight games.
Vucevic has been incredibly consistent this season and is averaging 22 points, 4.0 assists, and 9.3 rebounds per game for the season while shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
The disappointment so far has been with Zach Lavine, who averages 27.5 points, 4.8 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game and shoots better than 50 percent from the field. In the two games, he has played with his new All-Star teammate, Lavine has put up 18 points, one assist, and three rebounds against the San Antonio Spurs and 12 points, four assists, and four rebounds against the Golden State Warriors.
Aside from getting support from the rest of the team, the Bulls will simply need huge offensive performances from both Lavine and Vucevic if they want a chance against one of the top offensive and defensive rated teams in the NBA in the Jazz.
Why The Jazz Could Cover The Spread
The Jazz have been fantastic this entire season aside from a few slip-ups now and then, which is expected.
Quin Snyder has been able to get his players to commit on both ends of the floor. The team overall has the fourth-best offensive rating and the third-best defensive rating in the entire league.
This Utah team is being led by Donovan Mitchell on the offensive end of the floor, who is averaging 25.7 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds while shooting around 40 percent from the field and behind the three-point line. Snyder has also been able to find production from five other players who have been able to thrive and average double-digit points.
On the defensive end, every Jazz player takes pride in their one-on-one defensive assignments. To no surprise, the team’s defense is being anchored by their center Rudy Gobert, who has three blocks and 13.3 rebounds per contest.
The Jazz seem very likely to win this matchup but, in order to cover the spread, Snyder’s team will need to be dominant especially on the defensive end of the floor in slowing down Vucevic and Lavine for the Bulls.
Final Bulls-Jazz Prediction & Pick
While the Jazz has picked up seven consecutive wins, the Bulls have dropped five consecutive wins. In those contests, Quin Snyder’s team have been dominating their opponents on both ends of the floor winning by huge double-digit margins. Conversely, Billy Donovan has not been able to create that spark within his team as they struggle to pick up a win because of offensive struggles as well as terrible one-on-one and team defense. This trend should continue in this matchup on Friday as the Bulls will now be facing the number one team with the best record in the NBA.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION & PICK FOR BULLs-JAZZ: CHI 102, UTA 116 (UTA -12.5)