The Brooklyn Nets (2-2) face the Chicago Bulls (2-3) on Friday on opening night of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament. It is unclear what effect these games will have on NBA picks and spreads, but it will likely be treated like a typical regular-season meeting.
The Nets used their depth in the last game to beat the Miami Heat 109-105, getting some crucial performances from less-than-expected places. For the Bulls, their confusing start to the season continued with a 114-105 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Brooklyn’s Depth Proves Crucial
Brooklyn’s roster has already been hit by an early injury bug. The Nets were down three starters against the Heat with Nic Claxton, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Cameron Johnson all on the bench with reserve guard Dennis Smith Jr. Claxton and Johnson will not play on Friday. Dinwiddie and Smith are listed as game-time decisions. potentially changing the NBA spreads a bit.
However, against the Heat, it did not matter that the Nets were down crucial players. Brooklyn’s bench outscored Miami’s 50-26, proving to be a turning point in the game.
ARMONI BROOKS IS LOCKED IN
17 Points | 5 3PM pic.twitter.com/619SlfkHjv
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 2, 2023
Armoni Brooks and Trendon Watford led the way for the Nets bench, playing a significant role in the win. Brooks took six 3s, only missing one, finishing with 17 points. Watford came in and filled up the stat sheet with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists in only 14 minutes.
Without the help off the bench, the Nets would have likely lost, which is kind of a concern. No one in Brooklyn’s starting lineup had a positive +/-, which does not look good in the box score and is surprising, given the win. However, if the Nets’ depth can keep playing at this level, the starting lineup will eventually catch up, making them a potentially good option for ATS NBA picks. They are 4-0 ATS this season despite the 2-2 record.
Chicago Looking For Hope In The In-Season Tournament
There are already a lot of questions around the Bulls this season. They had a players-only meeting after one game. It worked, leading to an overtime win in the second game. However, in game three, the Bulls lost to the Detroit Pistons despite Zach LaVine scoring 51 points.
Chicago’s season could be a bumpy ride, and it has already started. On the other hand, an In-Season Tournament could play right into the Bulls’ strengths for NBA odds. The Bulls have one of the more talented rosters with LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević.
Those three players can overwhelm an opponent offensively. LaVine already has a 50-point game, while Vučević had 21 points and 20 rebounds in the last game against the Mavericks.
However, the Bulls’ success in NBA lines for the tournament depends on their defense. The Bulls had the fifth-highest defensive rating in 2022-23. But through the first five games this season, they ranked 21st. The defense has to be good enough to allow the three offensive stars to take over a game, which could be the case in a short tournament style of play.
Nets vs Bulls Game Betting Odds
Nets vs Bulls Game Best Bet
It is hard to tell how seriously each team will take the in-season tournament. For the Nets and Bulls, teams on the edge of future Vegas betting lines to make the playoffs, they could use this tournament as an early season confidence-booster.
Given how good the Nets’ depth has been and the uncertainty surrounding the Bulls, Brooklyn has the upper hand in this matchup. That should lead to the Nets covering the spread and potentially winning.
NBA Best Bet: Nets +3½
Nets vs Bulls Game Information
- Game: Nets (2-2) vs Bulls (2-3)
- Location: United Center, Chicago
- Date/Time: Nov. 3, 8 p.m. ET
- Nets vs Bulls Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Questions of the Day
Which player is the favorite to get the most assists in the game?
Ben Simmons of the Nets averages the most assists of any player in this matchup with 7.5. He has been the primary playmaker for his team, while the Bulls are without a true point guard.
What are some of the best player props for the game?
Early in the season, the Nets have struggled in defending primary wings. That could lead to a big game from Zach LaVine.