Enjoy some international NBA action Thursday afternoon as the Chicago Bulls (20-24) take on the Detroit Pistons (12-35) at the Accor Arena in Paris, France. Tipoff for this one is scheduled for Jan 19th, 3:00 pm ET.
The Bulls come into this one off of a 132-118 home victory over the Golden State Warriors last Sunday. In the win, Nikola Vucevic had a game-high 43 points to go along with 13 rebounds and four assists.
Detroit has lost seven of their last ten and two in a row, including a 117-104 home loss to the Knicks last time out. Saddiq Bey and Jaden Ivey combined for 42 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists in the defeat.
The Bulls are the favorites in this one. They are -260 to win, while the Pistons’ moneyline sits at +215. The spread features Detroit as 7-point underdogs (-110), and the over/under for total points is 236.5.
Bulls Look For Repeat Of Last Matchup With Pistons
These two teams last matched up just a few weeks ago, with the Bulls winning 132-118 at home. Zach LaVine had a monster game in that outing, going for 43 points. Chicago hopes to match that performance Thursday afternoon.
The Bulls also got some good news as forward DeMar DeRozan has been upgraded to probable (quad) for this one. Currently, he leads the team in scoring (26.1 points per game) and assists (4.9).
Other major contributors for the Bulls include Zach LaVine (23.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists) and Nikola Vucevic (17.5 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists).
As a unit, the Bulls rank 13th in scoring, averaging 114.5 points per game. On the defensive side, the Bulls rank 18th, allowing 115.2 points per game to opponents.
Pistons Hoping To Avoid Cellar
At 12-35, the Pistons sit in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, 22 games out of first place and just one game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets. Hoping to avoid the cellar in the conference, the Pistons will hope their play can improve overseas.
The Pistons have really struggled defensively. They currently rank 29th in the league in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 119.5 points per game.
On the offensive side, they rank 24th in scoring, averaging just 112.1 points per game. Detroit is led offensively by forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who is averaging 21.2 points on 48.7% shooting. He is also chipping in 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per night.
Bogdanovic has been a bit under the weather lately, but he has been upgraded to probable for this contest.
Aside from him, Jaden Ivey (15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists) and Saddiq Bey (14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds) have been the Pistons’ biggest contributors.
Take The Bulls To Win And Cover
While the Bulls have gone just 6-12 in their last 18 road games, they have had considerable success against the Pistons as of late. In fact, they have won 10 straight over Detroit and are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven matchups.
As for Detroit, they are just 1-5 both straight up and against the spread in their last six contests. Furthermore, they are 2-9 in their last 11 when playing as the home team, and they are 1-7 in their last eight games against conference foes.
While the Bulls have had their own struggles (10th in the conference), the Pistons’ issues are on just a whole different level. It looks very likely that they will be competing for one of the top picks in next year’s draft, and those struggles will likely continue Thursday afternoon.
Take Chicago to both wins and to cover the 7-point spread (-110) in Paris.