Treating the final few weeks of the NBA regular season with indifference is nothing new for LeBron James. But having no shot of making the postseason with 16 games to play is out of the ordinary for an LBJ-led team. The Lakers travel to the Windy City to take on Lauri Markkanen and the Chicago Bulls.
NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis
Los Angeles enters Tuesday’s tilt riding a five-game losing streak with the most recent setback coming at home to Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics. The Purple and Gold are 0-5 against the spread (ATS) over the skid and are just 2-9 against the spread over their last 11 games.
The Lakers are 15-25-1 against the number when giving points and they’re 5-20-1 ATS in their last 26 games against Eastern Conference opponents. The under is 3-1 in LA’s last four games and 21-8 in the last 29 games between these two clubs.
The Bulls dropped to 1-4 straight up and against the spread in their last five games after they lost 131-108 at Detroit on Sunday. Only the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers have won fewer games this season than the Chicago Bulls at 19.
Chicago is one of the worst home bets in the Association. The team is just 13-21 ATS in its 34 games at the United Center this season. The under is a profitable play for both teams. The over has cashed in just 56 of 134 combined games for the two clubs this season.
Los Angeles Lakers
Winning games is no longer in the best interest of the Los Angeles Lakers. With the playoffs now a pipe dream (7.5 games back heading into Monday’s action), improving their position in the NBA lottery is the best-case scenario for the Purple and Gold.
LA is doing what it can to improve its chances of losing more games. LeBron James will no longer play both games in back-to-back sets and his minutes will be restricted down the stretch.
Point guard Lonzo Ball has been ruled out for the season (ankle) as has Brandon Ingram (the club’s third-leading scorer). Even worse, Kyle Kuzma is considered questionable to play on Tuesday because of a sore ankle.
Another year gone by and another year where the Bulls are hoping for better returns in the future. Chicago used the bulk of its cap room at the trade deadline when it acquired Otto Porter from the Washington Wizards.
Porter, who is guaranteed nearly $56 million over the next two years, is averaging 18.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists while shooting 49.2 percent on 3s in his 12 games in a Bulls uniform.
Chicago will hope to get more from Porter and teammates on Tuesday. Leading scorer Zach LaVine is doubtful to play against the Lakers because of the same knee issue that kept him out of the lineup against the Pistons on Sunday.