It has already been a terrific start to the 2023-24 NBA season, and things are only going to get better over the next few months. There is an interesting matchup in the Eastern Conference on Thursday night as the Chicago Bulls are set to visit the Toronto Raptors.
Chicago has been playing much better basketball over the last month of the season, and they have improved their record all the way up to 19-23. The Bulls have won three of their last five games, and they are trying to get a spot in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Toronto has been heading in the opposite direction as they come into this game having lost four straight games. The Raptors are sitting at just 16-25 on the year, and it appears that they have waved the white flag.
Chicago is coming into this game as a 2.5-point betting favorite on a nationally televised game on TNT.
Bulls Starting to Score
The Chicago Bulls are averaging just 110.1 points per game this season, but that number has been on the rise of late. Chicago is finally healthy again, and that means that this Bulls team has plenty of scoring options.
DeMar DeRozan is leading the way with 22 points per game, and Zach LaVine has chipped in with 20 points per night. Those two veterans both know how to take over a game, but Coby White has also had a ton of success this season.
The defense for Chicago has gotten better over the last few weeks as well, and it’s easy to play solid defense when the ball is going in through the hoop.
Toronto Trading Away Talent
The Toronto Raptors are officially giving up on the season as they just traded Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers. Toronto is in need of a rebuild, and they are starting that process ahead of the Trade Deadline.
The Raptors are actually scoring 115 points per game this season, but there is no way that they will be able to keep up with that pace now. Toronto is going to have a short bench on Thursday night as they wait for new players to arrive.
Look for the Raptors to try and slow down the action in this matchup as that will be their best chance to win the game. The remaining players will still be playing for pride, but they are going to be undermanned in this battle.
Chicago Continues Impressive Run
The Bulls and Raptors have split the first two meetings this season, but Toronto just isn’t the same team anymore. Toronto is going to have a tough time scoring points without Pascal Siakam, and the defense will suffer as well.
Chicago is still a team with some issues, but they have looked much better on the offensive end of the floor of late. This is a great opportunity for the Bulls to pick up a solid road win, and they have enough stars to get that done.
Bet on the Chicago Bulls to win this game on the road as they will cover the slim 2.5-point betting spread as well.