The Chicago Bulls head to Ball Arena to face off against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. Both of these squads have dreams of a deep playoff run this season but enter this game coming off disappointing losses.
NBA betting lines opened with the Nuggets as 3.5-point home favorites with the Over/Under at 211.5. Here are our best free Bulls vs. Nuggets picks and predictions for Friday, November 19, with tipoff at 9 p.m. ET.
Bulls vs Nuggets odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
This line opened with the Nuggets at -3.5 with the Over/Under at 211.5. These teams previously met up on March 19 with the Bulls covering as 7-point road underdogs in a 131-127 OT loss to the Nuggets.
Bulls vs Nuggets predictions
Predictions made on 11/19/2021 at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Bulls vs Nuggets game info
• Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
• Date: Friday, November 19, 2021
• Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
• TV: Altitude, NBC Sports Chicago
Bulls vs Nuggets betting preview
Bulls: Javonte Green SG (Probable), Alex Caruso G (Probable), Nikola Vucevic C (Out), Patrick Williams F (Out).
Nuggets: Zeke Nnaji PF (Questionable), Michael Porter F (Out), Jamal Murray PG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Nuggets are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following a straight-up loss. Find more NBA betting trends for Bulls vs. Nuggets.
Bulls vs Nuggets picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
The Bulls entered this season with playoff expectations after acquiring DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso. They've lived up to those expectations so far, going 10-5 SU and ATS to start the season. DeRozan leads the team with 26.6 points per game on 50 percent shooting, helping them rank 10th in the league in offensive rating. Ball and Caruso have been a big boost to the other end of the floor with the Bulls ranking seventh in defensive rating.
The Bulls began their Western Conference road trip last Friday with a 16-point loss to the Warriors. They rebounded with back-to-back double-digit victories against the Clippers and Lakers before falling to the Blazers Wednesday night. Chicago actually had a 17-point lead in the third quarter against Portland before collapsing.
The Nuggets are 9-6 SU (7-8 ATS) and are third in the league in defensive rating, but things haven't looked rosy lately. They're coming off consecutive defeats and lost 103-89 to a shorthanded 76ers squad last night.
Last season's NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic, had another big game against Philly, racking up 30 points, 10 boards, and seven assists. However, the rest of the team shot a disgusting 30.6 percent from the field. That's been the story of the season for the Nuggets, who've struggled to give Jokic help on the offensive end of the floor with both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter sidelined indefinitely with injuries.
The Nuggets rank just 20th in the league in offensive rating and their lack of scoring options beyond Jokic could prove costly against a team with Chicago's depth. The Joker should be able to fill up the stat sheet against the Bulls, who are without their own European big man in Nikola Vucevic, but his team will have a tough time covering this spread, especially on the tail-end of a back-to-back.
Prediction: Bulls +3.5
The Nuggets play at the second-slowest pace in the league and rank just 24th in the NBA in scoring with 102.6 ppg. Combine that with a strong defensive lineup that holds foes to a league-low 99.2 ppg and you have all the ingredients for an Under machine.
The Bulls are efficient with the ball, but rank near the middle of the pack when it comes to tempo and take fewer three-point attempts than any other team in the league. That makes their scoring numbers less volatile since they aren't as reliant on their shots from beyond the arc to fall, but it also means they're less likely to go off and score 120 on any given night.
The Bulls have also shown lots of improvement on the defensive end of the floor, ranking sixth in the league in ppg allowed with 103.3.
The Nuggets are 4-11 O/U on the year and are 8-1 to the Under in their last nine games as a favorite. The Bulls have cashed the Under in four straight games as a road dog this season and are 13-3 to the Under in their previous 16 contests when catching points.
Prediction: Under 211.5 (-110
Considering how well the Bulls have played this year, it's a bit surprising that this line isn't closer against a Nuggets team that has struggled to score and is playing on consecutive nights. And if you think the Nuggets are likely to bounce back from an ugly performance yesterday, keep in mind that they are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS loss and just 1-7 ATS in their previous eight contests after a straight-up loss.
The Bulls have actually been the ones who have a tendency to bounce back, going 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS or SU defeat. We're grabbing Chi-Town with the points.
Pick: Bulls +3.5 (-110)
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