Chicago Bulls at Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Preview
The Chicago Bulls had two solid outings against the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, beating them 134-122 at the United Center and then 124-120 in the Twin Cities. Chicago hopes that trend can continue on Sunday night after they come off an atrocious 114-91 defeat to the Knicks on Friday.
Minnesota is back home after a 2-3 road trip, but to even win two games is a mini-success, considering the rash of injuries this team is dealing with right now. The Timberwolves are likely shorthanded again vs. Chicago, which is why the Bulls are -1.5 favorites at the Target Center.
Bulls Have Some Decisions to Make
The trade deadline isn’t until early February, but unless the Bulls (11-17) start stringing some wins together, they’re going to be sellers and blow this whole thing up yet again.
Friday’s loss, when the Bulls scored a season-low 91 points, didn’t do anything to instill a whole lot of confidence moving forward. Every Chicago player had a bad night, including DeMar DeRozan, who scored 14 points after scoring 32 and 34 in the previous two games. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 17 as Chicago lost for the sixth time in the last eight.
The Knicks have won six straight, but Chicago still needs to play better in Minnesota. If the Timberwolves are indeed without both of their big men, the Bulls’ Nikola Vucevic absolutely has to step up, but he’s been held to under 20 points in three straight and single-digit rebounds the last four.
Timberwolves Battling Through Ailments
It wouldn’t be a shocker to see D’Angelo Russell (knee) and Rudy Gobert (ankle) join Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) on the injury report yet again on Sunday night. Towns is out until mid-January, Russell has missed the last two, and Gobert sat out Friday’s win over Oklahoma City.
Minnesota picked up the win in Oklahoma City even with a skeleton crew led by Naz Reid blowing up for 28 but also some solid depth with four other players scoring at least 13 points. Anthony Edwards had 19 vs. the Thunder and has now been held to under 20 points in four of the last five, so the T’Wolves likely need more out of him on Sunday.
Bulls at Timberwolves Pick
Prior to Chicago’s 124-120 win at the Target Center last April, the home team had won eight of the previous nine in this series. That trend alone gives Minnesota some value on Sunday night especially getting the +1.5 point.
If Minnesota was healthy, you could lock them in even as 4-5 point favorites and not feel bad about it, but Chicago gets the lean with the T’Wolves key absences. Chicago has lost three in a row, but two of those have come in OT, and the Bulls have way more firepower here. Plus, they’re antsy after such a bad showing on Friday night.