After missing former All-Stars Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine for several weeks, the Chicago Bulls will be as close to full strength as they can be when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night. Our Charlotte Hornets vs. Chicago Bulls predictions and betting picks are listed out and analyzed below!
Charlotte Hornets Vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction
Will the return of Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic into the starting lineup inject enough firepower to ensure the Hornets don’t log a second consecutive massive upset?
It definitely should. While the motivation to win for the Bulls might not be at its highest level, LaVine, DeRozan, Vucevic, and others are all essentially “auditioning” for other NBA teams right now. Ideally, these guys, particularly LaVine, want to prove that they still have a lot left in the tank and that their contracts are worth taking a risk on.
For a team like the Lakers to want to trade assets for LaVine to make one more big push toward a title, he will have to post some big games ahead of the trade deadline. It is difficult to imagine most of these Bulls players wanting to stay put in what will obviously be the beginning of a major rebuild in Chicago.
The obvious biggest threat to tear down Bulls -9.5 backers is Terry Rozier. Rozier has posted 42 points and 34 points in his past two games, respectively. Further, he has done this with elite efficiency, shooting 58% from the floor, 49% from deep, and 92% from the charity stripe.
However, Rozier has an exceptionally tough matchup; he will be face-guarded by Alex Caruso, Coby White, and Jevon Carter for the entirety of the game. To quantify Rozier’s challenge, look no further than this: the Bulls hold opposing point guards to the fewest points per game of any team in the NBA.
LaVine and DeRozan are not huge “plus” defenders, but Brandon Miller and Cody Martin will not be overly challenging opponents. Patrick Williams has the length and athleticism to contest Miles Bridges, too.
Further, while Vucevic is not known for his defense, he should not have a hard time guarding Nick Richards, who does not boast much offensive talent outside of finishing around the rim. “Vooch” will use his body to match physicality and secure defensive rebounds.
Over the past ten games, Chicago has the third-lowest defensive rating in the NBA and has held opponents to fifth-lowest FG% and sixth-lowest 3P% in that span. Charlotte might struggle to hit 90 points in this spot.
Charlotte Hornets Vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction: Bulls -9.5 (-110)
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Charlotte Hornets Vs. Chicago Bulls Best Odds
The Chicago Bulls are humongous 9.5-point favorites over the injury-riddled Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte has Moneyline odds of +330 to secure another incredibly unlikely upset (the Hornets knocked off the Kings on the road in the biggest upset of the year on Tuesday), while Chicago is a -425 favorite to win outright at home. The point total for this game rests around 220 points, indicating a lack of faith in both team’s ability to put points on the board.
Charlotte Hornets Starting Lineup
Chicago Bulls Starting Lineup
Charlotte Hornets Vs. Chicago Bulls Injuries
Charlotte will be without a number of key players in its Friday night matchup with the Bulls: Mark Williams (back), LaMelo Ball (ankle), Gordon Hayward (calf), and Frank Ntilikina (leg) will all be sidelined for the foreseeable future. Brandon Miller missed the team’s last game but is expected to return for this bout.
Meanwhile, Chicago will bring Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine back into the rotation after they missed several games due to injury. However, the Bulls still won’t have Lonzo Ball (knee) or Torrey Craig (foot.)
North Carolina Sports Betting Update
All of the best promotions for the sportsbooks that will be launching are on our North Carolina Sports Betting page.
Despite the Tar Heel state’s targeted online sports betting launch being postponed, there is still hope that sports betting will be live right before the beginning of March Madness, which begins with the “First Four” on March 19th and 20th.
The timing could hardly be more perfect, as North Carolina has several college teams that will likely be in the NCAA Tournament, including UNC and Duke, while there are many other mid-major Division I programs that could sneak in, too.
Take a look at our DraftKings (North Carolina), Bet365 (North Carolina), and FanDuel (North Carolina) pages to see the projected first-time user promotions and our reviews of each individual sportsbook!