Chicago Bulls vs Boston Celtics Preview (11/4/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

Chicago will look to continue climbing the Eastern Conference ladder when it flies to Boston to battle the Celtics. Below, I cover my prediction for the game’s outcome, the projected starting lineups, current odds and trends, and the most updated injury report. Take a look!

Chicago Bulls Vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds

Boston is a 7.5-point home favorite against the Chicago Bulls, who have won back-to-back games, including an impressive come-from-behind win against Brooklyn. Chicago will be without Lonzo Ball, Andre Drummond, and Coby White, while the C’s are still missing Robert Williams III and Danilo Gallinari from the rotation.

The point total hangs around 223 points; the two teams’ combined “over record” is 8-8 through their first 16 games. Regarding PACE, Chicago is in the top half of teams, but Boston stands in the bottom ten. Check out my betting recommendations for these popular bets below!

Chicago Bulls Vs. Boston Celtics Prediction

These two teams have already played each other once this season, and it went in favor of the Chicago Bulls, who won by 18 points at home. Chicago got a lot of heat last year for being lazy on the defensive end of the floor; that can be primarily attributed to missing three of its best defenders, Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams, and Lonzo Ball, for most of the season.

Now, the Bulls have two of those three players back but are still very middle-of-the-road on the defensive end of the floor. There were flashes of great effort in that Brooklyn game that helped “will” them to victory, but the consistency still is lacking.

Meanwhile, Boston has not looked as committed on defense as in the second half of last season and the playoffs. The C’s rank 21st in opponent 3P% (three-point percentage), 11th in opponent eFG% (effective field goal percentage), and 20th in defensive efficiency. This has been quite a drastic change from last season when they looked like one of the best defensive teams in the past decade.

Part of this can be attributed to the fact that it is early in the season, but a large portion could also be that Boston’s head coach, Ime Udoka, was suspended for the entirety of the 2022-23 season; in a lot of ways, he was the mastermind behind its spectacular defense.

Boston will still be a great team, but I have to wonder about the ramifications of missing its starting center, who anchors its defense, and its head coach, who orchestrated its defensive philosophy. I will take the C’s Moneyline in this one but will ride with the Bulls against the spread. Seven points is a lot for a team that beat Boston handily just a week and a half ago.

Betting Trends

  • Chicago is 2-1-1 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Boston is 2-1 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • Chicago is 1-0 versus Boston in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The key matchup in this Eastern Conference battle between the Bulls and Celtics belongs to Nikola Vucevic and the Boston frontcourt. The last time these two teams faced off, Vucevic finished with a monstrous 18-point, 23-rebound performance and also chipped in five assists! Check out my matchup analysis below to see where the advantage lies!

Nikola Vucevic vs. Boston Celtics’ Frontcourt

With Robert Williams III out due to injury, the C’s have opted to deploy smaller starting lineups most of this season, with Al Horford playing center. Horford can play the five, but he’s a more natural four; size can be an issue, especially against centers like Vucevic, who have 25-30 pounds on him. In late October, when the C’s and Bulls faced off for the first time this season, Vucevic finished with 23 rebounds as the Bulls outrebounded Boston by 15. Chicago ranks fourth in defensive rebounding percentage, so Boston did not and will not get many second-chance opportunities on offense. I also expect “Vooch” to be a menace on the offensive glass.

Additionally, Vucevic had five assists last game, showing off his multi-dimensional offensive game against the Boston defense. As mentioned above, Boston has looked mediocre not only on defense but on the glass, too. Vucevic should be in for another big day. Advantage: Vucevic.

Chicago Bulls Starting Lineups

PG: Alex Caruso
SG: Zach LaVine
SF: DeMar DeRozan
PF: Patrick Williams
C: Nikola Vucevic

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Derrick White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Al Horford

Key Injuries

Chicago Bulls Injuries: Lonzo Ball (Out), Andre Drummond (Out), Coby White (D)

Boston Celtics Injuries: Robert Williams III (Out), Danilo Gallinari (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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