National Basketball Association: OKC vs. CHI
Oklahoma City Thunder (22-16, 8-10 away) at Chicago Bulls (19-18, 12-7 home)
January 9, 2017- 8:00 PM ET United Center, Chicago, IL
Making their only regular-season appearance in the Windy City, the Oklahoma City Thunder will role into the United Center on Monday night for a nonconference clash against the Chicago Bulls in a matchup that has the following betting lines;
Best Thunder Lines: Betonline Spread (+2) ML “See Live Odds”
Best Bulls Lines: 5Dimes Spread (-1.5) ML -125
Over/Under: MyBookie 207.5
Meeting for the first of two meetings, the Thunder and Bulls are expected to put on a show as Oklahoma City is coming off a win, while the Bulls are in the midst of a three game winning streak, including a convincing 106-94 win at Cleveland last Wednesday.
On the road after pulling off a 121-106 home victory over Denver, Oklahoma City enters this game one-half game back of Utah in the Northwest Division. And in that win over the Nuggets, “all-everything” Russell Westbrook recorded his 17th triple-double of the season.
On pace to join the great Oscar Robertson averaging a triple-double for the entire season, Westbrook is averaging 31.4 PPG with 10.6 RPG and 10.3 APG as his Thunder team is scoring 106.8 points per game. On defense, the Thunder are allowing 105.3 points per game.
In the Denver win, Oklahoma City welcomed the return of reserve guard Cameron Payne, who has been a welcome relief to help shoulder the scoring load from Westbrook. Payne was sidelined with a broken bone in his foot and in his return scored eight points.
For the Bulls and their new-found winning streak, Chicago is now 19-18 as they sit in the third-spot 9 ½ games behind Cleveland in the Central Division.
Paced by Jimmy Butler and his 25.6 points per contest, Chicago is scoring 101.8 points per game, while yielding 101.2.
And as we take a look into this matchup, we will be witnessing two MVP hopefuls in Westbrook, who may have the upper hand at this point facing off against Butler; who’s recent play may have thrust him into the MVP conversation as he has become the team’s franchise player with Derrick Rose being traded in the offseason.
With huge wins over Chicago and Toronto in back-to-back games, that may be the confidence boost the Bulls have been waiting for as they will seek to get back in the division race with still plenty of basketball yet to play. Oklahoma City after dropping three straight finally got back to their winning ways as they will seek to keep it going.
For betting purposes, 5Dimes is favoring CHI (-1.5) points over OKC, while topbet is giving the underdog Thunder (+2) points. MyBookie gives us the over/under at 207.5 total game points scored. Playing the spread, I will put my confidence in Oklahoma City as I will take the Thunder PLUS the (+2) points over Chicago as my betting pick for what should be an entertaining matchup.