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Chicago Bulls vs Toronto Raptors | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

Written by on April 8, 2021

The 10th spot in the Eastern Conference and the final place in the play-in tournament for the NBA playoffs could come down to the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors. They meet in an important matchup Thursday from the Raptors’ temporary home in Tampa, Fla. The NBA odds will be determined in part by a few injuries.

How to Bet Bulls at Raptors NBA Odds & TV Info
  • When: Thursday, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa Fla.
  • TV: NBA League Pass
  • Stream:com, NBA TV app
  • Radio:com
  • NBA Odds: TBA
Last Meeting

On March 14 in Chicago, the Bulls routed the Raptors 118-95. Rookie Patrick Williams had a career-best 23 points to lead the Bulls. Zach LaVine scored 15, Coby White had 13 points and Wendell Carter Jr. added 12 points and 11 rebounds – Carter has since been traded to Orlando. Chicago maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half. Toronto, which had won 12 straight in the series, was led by 32 points from Norman Powell – he has since been traded to Portland. Starters Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, and reserves Patrick McCaw and Malachi Flynn were out in COVID protocols.

Why Bet on Chicago? | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

The Bulls have followed a six-game losing streak with back-to-back wins as they blew out the Pacers 113-97 on Tuesday in Indiana. The Pacers started the game without two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis (sprained left ankle) and starting guard Malcolm Brogdon (sore right hip), before losing Myles Turner in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle. Chicago took control with a 15-3 run early in the second quarter, taking a 45-33 lead. It was never really close afterward.

Nikola Vucevic had his best game with Chicago since coming from Orlando at the trade deadline with 32 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, one block and four 3-pointers in 35 minutes. There was less resistance in the paint once Turner left the game early in the third quarter. It was Vucevic’s third double-double in Chicago’s last four games.

Zach LaVine had 19 points eight rebounds, six assists and one block in 35 minutes. Since missing a game due to a sprained right ankle, LaVine has played 30-plus minutes in three straight. The 26-year-old is back to his elite scoring ways, posting 23, 25 and 19 points over his past three.

Thaddeus Young had 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. The 32-year-old has been playing well over his past five games in the starting lineup, averaging 16.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 0.8 steals while shooting 57.8 percent from the field. Young has found a home in the starting lineup with Lauri Markkanen spending the last three games coming off the bench.

The Bulls outrebounded the Pacers 57-33. The +24 margin was Chicago’s largest since posting +29 against the Atlanta Hawks on February 11, 2014. In addition, the Bulls have connected on more than half of their shot attempts 19 times this season. In 65 games last year, Chicago shot 50% or better a total of 13 times.

Why Bet on Toronto? | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

The Raptors’ two-game winning streak was snapped in a lopsided 110-101 home loss in Tampa to the Lakers on Tuesday in a game that wasn’t that close. The Lakers built a 34-point lead in the first 20 minutes and were never threatened in the second half. The Lakers made 18 3-pointers, including seven of their first eight attempts.

The Raptors were coming off a last-second win over the Washington Wizards the night before and without injured starting guards Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet. Toronto shot 5 for 33 from behind the arc in the loss. It was the third-worst three-point shooting night for the Raptors since 2013-14.

Pascal Siakam scored 27 points, adding seven rebounds, a pair of assists, two steals and a block in 41 minutes. The points and minutes were both team-highs, but he didn’t get there all too efficiently, going 7-of-21 from the field and missing all six of his three-point attempts. He salvaged his line a bit with a 13-of-15 mark from the line and just a single turnover.

Rookie Malachi Flynn posted 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in 33 minutes. With Kyle Lowry (foot) and Fred VanVleet (hip) sidelined recently, Flynn has stepped into a bigger role and continues to deliver. Over the past three games, he’s totaled 43 points, 19 rebounds, 13 assists, eight steals and four blocks.

VanVleet, Lowry, Rodney Hood, Paul Watson, Patrick McCaw, and Jalen Harris are all out on Thursday against the Bulls.

Expert Prediction
  • Bulls 115, Raptors 112

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