Chicago gets a little reprieve heading into the March 31st Clippers at Bulls betting matchup, back at home for just the 2nd time since March 17th playing 8 of their last 9 on the road. The Bulls have five of their last six at the United Center, but three of those are against Miami, Milwaukee, and Boston who are all fighting for the #1 seed in the East.
Even Thursday’s matchup with Los Angeles is no walk in the park for the Bulls, as Paul George has returned to the Clippers lineup and didn’t seem to miss a beat en route to a 25-point comeback win over the Jazz on Tuesday. L.A had lost five straight prior, but that’s the kind of win that builds momentum heading into the last few games of the season.
Clippers a Different Team with George
L.A coach Tyronn Lue has done a great job of keeping his team afloat even with Kawhi Leonard logging 0 minutes this season, George missing 50 games so far, and trade acquisition Norman Powell playing three games with the team before suffering a foot injury. The Clippers are still looking at a likely #8 seed in the Western Conference play-in tournament and at 37-39 could even finish the regular season .500 now that George is back.
Los Angeles had a different energy on Tuesday with George back in the lineup for the 1st time since December 22nd. George hit 10 of 20 from the field, 6 of 9 from three, and 8 of 11 from the line so one would think he only gets better in the second game back. Reggie Jackson also added 21 to help complete the 25-point comeback in a 121-115 home win as +2.5 underdogs.
Bulls Ready to Be Back at Home
It’s likely no coincidence that Chicago’s late season slide has gone hand in hand with playing 10 of their last 12 on the road. The Bulls are 5-7 over that span which has dropped them down to the #5 seed at 44-32. Chicago and Toronto would seem safe in the 5/6 seeds with Cleveland still 2GB from climbing out of the play-in tournament. With the Bulls facing a gauntlet of Miami, Milwaukee, and Boston over the next three games nothing is a given for Chicago.
Chicago could have some major concerns in the March 31st Clippers at Bulls betting matchup. They’ve been struggling vs. PGs lately and Jackson is coming off a 21-point game vs. the Jazz. Chicago is also getting owned on the boards with opposing centers averaging 13 rebounds/game the last four vs. the Bulls. L.A’s 7-foot combo of Ivica Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein could be in line for a big night.
March 31st Clippers at Bulls Betting Info
The Bulls are a -3.5 favorite on Thursday night which points to oddsmakers respecting the fact that Chicago is finally back at the United Center. Billy Donovan’s squad is 11-4 ATS their last 15 at home, which is why 57% of the public are giving the points.
March 31st Clippers at Bulls Betting Pick
DeMar DeRozan seems to be heating back up with 30+ points in his last two games, but you’d think the return of George cancels that out a bit. Zach LaVine (knee) is probable for Chicago, but the real x-factor here is the Clippers’ interior which should be able to dominate.
Free Pick: Clippers +3.5