Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan
Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan drives against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

BULLS VS TRAIL BLAZERS, NOV. 17

Kyle Barrette

The Bulls continue their west coast road trip and their brutal schedule against playoff caliber teams. Chicago has been a great story so far this season and while still early, it is impressive to see what a group of guys from all different teams have been able to come together and do. If Chicago wants to contend for a title, they will have to continue to beat teams like they have been, and this heavy amount of early exposure could be the tune ups they need when the time comes. Let’s break down the matchup between their next potential finals matchup.

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Blazers
I know it’s a stretch to place the Blazers in the finals given what can only be kindly worded as an abomination of play on the road. It’s tough seeing them beating a higher seed in a series, seeing as they would have to win on the road to do so. Right now, Portland has only won one road game and that was against the Rockets, and we all know how their season is going. Portland is 1-7 on the road and has lost the majority of those games by double digits, the most recent a 29-point loss to the Nuggets. To be fair, they were without Lillard in that game, and he will suit up for this one and this game will be played in Portland as well. The Blazers do still have a bit to deal with like a top five defense and a top 15 offense. The question for Portland becomes, do they have enough to stop Lavine and Derozan, who have been unstoppable lately and couple that with the emergence of Lonzo Ball. Portland is going to need a whole lot of Dame time.

Chicago
It almost seems like oddsmakers are waiting for this giant correction to happen with this team, like a hard stretch of games that challenges this team where they lose a handful of games so they can justify not really giving them their credit this far. It’s fair to say these are not your same Bulls, it’s not the Zach Lavine show anymore, this team is legit. Sooner rather than later, everyone will know this team is for real. The scary part is they have been this effective without Vucevic who has been out or struggled most of this short season. Imagine adding a big man who can play the floor and opens them up with another shooter on this team that hasn’t even added Coby White to the mix. The downfall of this team has been their lack of depth, the bench ranks near the bottom of the league and does have the potential to lose them some games if Donovan doesn’t manage things correctly. The defense’s improvement has been the turning point so far, with their last five wins being by double digits.

Portland vs Chicago the Pick: Bulls +1.5
With Dame recently in and out of the lineup, it shows that he might not be 110% which is what Portland is going to need to be able to crack this Bulls defense and to slow down their offense that is no joke. Give me Chicago +1.5 to continue their winning on the west coast.

Same Game Parlay
Chicago Bulls +1.5, DeMar DeRozan First Basket, Lonzo Ball Over 13.5 Points, Lonzo Ball Over 5.5 Assists, DeMar DeRozan 30+ Points and Chicago Bulls to win by 1-10 Points.

SGP Odds +20862

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