Nov 19, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) shoots the ball past Denver Nuggets forward Jeff Green (32) in the second quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Knicks and Bulls meet on Sunday, November 21st at the United Center
Chicago is a 5.5-point home favorite
Find the odds, preview, and best bet below
Two Eastern Conference rivals will face off for the second time this season as the New York Knicks take a trip to the United Center to play the Chicago Bulls. Tip-off is scheduled for 8pm ET.
NY is coming off a 106-99 win against the 1-14 Houston Rockets on Saturday, while the Bulls just took down Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Friday behind a 36-point effort from Zach LaVine.
The Knicks pulled off a thrilling 104-103 victory vs Chicago on October 28th and haven’t lost in their last three games against LaVine and Co.
Knicks vs Bulls Odds
New York Knicks
Odds as of November 20th at FanDuel.
Knicks Break Out of Cold Spell
After losing three of their previous four games, New York welcomed Houston to town and desperately needed a win. While it wasn’t easy by any means, the Knicks managed to break their dry streak.
At first glance, this wasn’t a great performance for Tom Thibodeau’s squad. They were outrebounded 48-37 by one of the worst teams in the Association and absolutely dominated in the paint, getting outscored 56-26.
But, NY was shooting the lights out and that proved to be the difference-maker. The Knicks went 18-for-41 from downtown and 22-for-26 from the charity stripe, with an unlikely catalyst leading the offensive charge.
Alec Burks dropped a team-high 20 points off the bench and drained five three-pointers in the fourth quarter. New York actually trailed by five points midway through the final period but a couple of clutch shots from Burks helped them make a comeback and ultimately put this one away.
However, it was a very sluggish start from Thibodeau’s group, scoring a mere 13 points in the opening quarter. Since they were playing the Rockets, it wasn’t that difficult to get back into the contest but against a team like Chicago on Sunday who is stout defensively, it won’t be so easy.
17 of his 20 points in the 4th 🎯 pic.twitter.com/sgUoD3eFGU
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 21, 2021
Julius Randle had a bit of a quiet night, scoring only 16 points, but he did grab 10 rebounds and dish out nine assists. Evan Fournier also had 19 and shot 50% from beyond the arc.
The Knicks really need Randle to break out and find his previous brilliance from last season. The reigning Most Improved Player of the Year is struggling to produce, averaging just 19.8 points and failing to reach the 20-point mark in five consecutive outings.
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Bulls Hot at Home
Chicago is proving to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference early on, posting an 11-5 record, good for third place. Coming into Saturday, the Bulls have won three of four, beating several very good organizations in the Clippers, Lakers, and Nuggets. They also thrive at the United Center, going 5-2.
Friday’s victory against Denver proved just how much better Chicago is after a busy offseason. LaVine had 36 to lead the way but DeMar DeRozan also continued his hot start, erupting for 26 points. The superstar duo is 4th and 5th in the Association in scoring and continues to ball out on a nightly basis.
Although it was a rather off night for Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, the Bulls got some unlikely production out of Derrick Jones and Ayo Dosunmu, who combined for 26 points. Chicago completely bullied the Nuggets from a physical standpoint, outscoring them 50-38 in the paint and outrebounding Jokic and Co. by the same margin.
Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan both have 10+ 25-point games this season, in only the Bulls’ 16th game.
They are the fastest duo to hit 10, 25-point games each since Elgin Baylor and Jerry West in 1962-63 (11th game).
(h/t @EliasSports) pic.twitter.com/xg9I28irne
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 20, 2021
Even though Billy Donovan’s team didn’t shoot it all that well, they were flawless from the line, going a perfect 24-for-24. The Bulls currently rank first in the Association with an 85.8% free-throw clip.
Knicks vs Bulls Prediction
The Knicks are just 7-8 ATS but are 2-1 as ATS underdogs. Chicago, meanwhile, has dominated as ATS favorites, posting a 7-2 record and 11-5 overall. Frankly, the Bulls have been playing a whole lot better than New York recently, taking down a few contenders.
The Knicks could barely get past a dismal Rockets team and are struggling to score the ball, notching under 100 points in three of their last four appearances.
The moneyline doesn’t offer much value here. But considering how terrific the Bulls have been on home soil, I expect them to cover the spread. LaVine and DeRozan will show out once again.
Pick: Chicago Bulls -5 (-110)