Must-Win Games Down the Line
The Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers are in must-win positions to keep their NBA playoff odds from dropping. The Bulls are in the Eastern Conference play-in, sitting 10th, but they have arguably been playing the best basketball out of the four teams. In the West, the Clippers are fifth and only one game up from the play-in, but with the recent Paul George injury, they could slide.
In the Bulls’ last game, they beat the Los Angeles Lakers 118-108 to kick off their LA back-to-back series. The Clippers lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 131-110 on Saturday, just being outshot.
Bulls Feeling Themselves
When facing the Lakers, all the NBA news could focus on was LeBron James returning from his injury. However, the Chicago Bulls came out and dominated the game, leading for over 40 minutes and getting another excellent performance from Zach LaVine, scoring 32 points.
Ever since the All-Star break (15 games), Chicago has been one of the best teams in the league. The Bulls have the third-best net rating over the last 15 games, going 10-5. A big part of the success has been the team’s activity on defense, with the second-best defensive rating.
PAT BEV SAID YOU’RE TOO SMALL.@PatBev21 | @NBCSChicago pic.twitter.com/zBz46GI7q5
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 26, 2023
While Patrick Beverley has not provided much on the stat sheet, averaging 6.1 points, his mentality is what this team needed. He never gives up on defense, which has elevated the team. Again, he didn’t have a big game against the Lakers, with 10 points, five assists and four rebounds, but he celebrated in James’ face and against the team that traded him after scoring.
Beverley’s confidence has rubbed off on the whole team and especially has helped LaVine. He has improved offensively, now averaging 29.3 points per game over the last 15 games.
Clippers Seek Answers Without George
The Los Angeles Clippers were starting to creep back into the fourth seed in the West, but a lot is uncertain now with George’s recent injury. The team will still likely be in the playoffs, having acquired more than enough depth at the trade deadline, but it is unclear when George could be back, affecting the Clippers NBA title odds.
George is expected to be out for the rest of the regular season’s nine games, but his timeline for a possible return in the playoffs will be clearer when he’s re-evaluated. https://t.co/dggAJipTm9
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 22, 2023
The two games since George’s injury haven’t been consistent, not helping bettors see what the Clippers will be without their All-Star. In the first game, Los Angeles beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 127-102 and dominated the game. The Clippers did enough to win, with Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook putting up big numbers and the bench playing well
Facing the Pelicans was completely different. The perimeter defense collapsed and the Clippers allowed New Orleans to shoot 61.8% from 3. Leonard and Westbrook struggled on offense, and outside of Bones Hyland, the bench didn’t play great.
Hyland has played well in the last two games, scoring 16 against the Thunder and leading the team with 18 against the Pelicans. This is after seemingly being dropped from the lineup over the last seven games.
Bulls vs Clippers Game Injuries
Bulls vs Clippers Head-to-Head
The Bulls swept this matchup last season, but the Clippers swept Chicagoin 2020-21. This season, the Clippers won the first game 108-103 on Jan.31, with the NBA lines set at 2½ favoring Los Angeles. Leonard scored 33 points in that game.
Bulls vs Clippers Game Information
- Game: Bulls (36-38) vs Clippers (39-36)
- Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
- Day/Time: Monday, March 27, 10:30 p.m. EST
- Bulls vs Clippers Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Bulls vs Clippers Betting Lines
Bulls vs Clippers Picks and Prediction
It is still unclear how the George injury will affect the Clippers in the long run, depending on when he might return. However, the Bulls have been playing well recently and solid against the spread (ATS), 6-3-1.
The spread is set at 4½ in favor of the Clippers, which is a surprise. With how the Bulls are playing, they should be able to cover and even win, which could make them a solid bet for NBA picks.
The Chicago Bulls are listed at +160 in our Vegas NBA odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bulls, you have a chance to win 160. The Los Angeles Clippers are -185, offering a chance to win $54 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Chicago Bulls a 38.46% chance to win, with the Los Angeles Clippers at 64.91%.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.
Bulls vs Clippers Trends
Bulls vs Clippers Edge
Bulls vs Clippers Results
Bulls vs Clippers Game Summary
Clippers vs Bulls Previous Game(Jan. 31, 20203)
In the last game that the Clippers had Leonard and George together, they combined for 55 points. In fact, through the five-game win streak, they combined for at least 50 points in every game. Having them back on the court will put the Bulls’ defense and offense in a bind.
At home, the Bulls are only 13-10, not having an overwhelming advantage. The Clippers have won four of their last six road games, and their stars did not play in the losses.
The Los Angeles Clippers opted not to keep their five-game win streak alive against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, with three starters sitting. However, they will likely be back in the lineup to face the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
Clippers vs Bulls Game Summary