The New York Knicks travel to another major American city when they visit the Chicago Bulls with tipoff at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday at the United Center. The Knicks (14-13) are 7-6 on the road this season and are the sixth-best team in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls (11-15) have struggled with some injuries and consistency issues causing their disappointing start.
Despite that, the Bulls are favored by 4.5 points with an over/under of 226.5 points. The Bulls are -185 on the moneyline, while the Knicks are +150.
Defense leading Knicks
It is probably natural for a Tom Thibodeau coached team to be strong defensively. The Knicks are 14th in allowing 112.9 points per game but are even better in defensive efficiency. They are second in holding teams to 44.7% shooting on field goal attempts and fourth in limiting teams to a 33.8% conversion rate on 3-point shots.
Offensively they are 13th in scoring 113.8 points per game but are struggling to make shots. They are 25th in making 45.3% of field goal attempts and the worst team in the league in converting 31.9% of 3-point shots. They are, however, seventh in making 80.4% of free throw attempts.
Bulls offense has been good
Chicago is scoring 113.3 points per game, which ranks 14th in the league. They have been slightly better in efficiency. The Bulls rank 10th in making 47.7% of field goal attempts and 12th in 36.2% of 3-point shots. They are third in making 82.2% of free throw attempts.
The defensive end is where their issues lie. The Bulls are 16th in allowing 113.3 points per game and 23rd in allowing teams to make 47.6% of field goal attempts. They are 24th defensively in allowing teams to make 36.5% of 3-point shots.
The Knicks will be without Obi Toppin and Ryan Arcidiacono. Big free agent acquisition Jalen Brunson, who is from the Chicagoland area, is questionable with a foot injury.
The Bulls are still without Lonzo Ball until January. Guard Alex Caruso is probably with a back injury, and Chicago native Ayo Dosunmu is questionable with an abdominal injury.
In the last four meetings in Chicago, the under is 4-0. The under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings, regardless of location. Dating back to the 2020-21 season, the Knicks are 4-2 straight up and against the spread.
Public betting data shows 53% are on the Bulls to cover 4.5 points and 59% are on the under 227.
This season, the Knicks are 13-12-2 against the spread and 12-15 on over/unders. The Bulls are 12-13-1 against the spread and 11-14-1 on over/unders.
The Bulls are difficult to beat at the United Center but are 7-6 at home this season. They have played below their talent level, and we like them to beat the Knicks and cover the 4.5 points, especially if Brunson is out.