New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Preview (12/14/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

Although it doesn’t have Jordan versus Ewing appeal, the Chicago Bulls (11-15) face the New York Knicks (14-13) in a battle between mediocre to average Eastern teams. Ayo Dosunmu (10.2 PPG) is questionable for the Bulls, and Jalen Brunson (20.1 PPG) holds the same injury status for the Knicks.

Since these teams play again on Friday, which squad will throw the first punch? Odds, predictions, key matchups, and starting lineups are below.

New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Betting Odds

Despite their poor start to the season, Chicago is favored here. The spread is -3.5 Bulls with their moneyline at an uninspiring -175. On the other hand, New York must win this matchup 40% of the time for their +152 moneyline to be profitable long-term. Finally, the over under is at a smaller 225 points, which is reasonable based on recent history. The under is 6-0 in the last six Knicks games, while it’s 6-1-1 in the last eight Bulls home games. In addition, the under is 6-1 in the last seven matchups between these two old rivals.

New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction

Backing the Bulls has been a rollercoaster this season, but I’m taking the plunge and grabbing Bulls -4.

Chicago is finally starting to show a pulse, as they own a 119.4 Offensive Rating and 108.7 Defensive Rating over their last three contests. Those marks would rank 1st and 4th, respectively. During that span, Vucevic and DeRozan combined for 49 PPG, 18.6 RPG, and 8.3 APG on a superb 58/53/91 shooting split.

With those two clicking, Zach LaVine and Ayo Dosunmu will have the luxury of more space to utilize. The likely target is Jalen Brunson, who struggles on the defensive end due to his 6’2” frame and subpar defensive instincts. Add in Patrick Williams’ catch and shoot ability, and the Bulls finally appear to have a working offense.

Defensively, Chicago can throw Williams at Randle and their plethora of defensive guards at Brunson and Quickley. New York loves to drive – they rank 2nd per game – but Ayo and Caruso can navigate the pick and close driving lanes instantly. If the Knicks struggle to get to the rim, their offense may vanish because they own a putrid 31.7 catch and shoot 3PT%.

The bench battle is key, and Chicago owns a massive advantage here. Caruso, White, and Dragic form a lethal trio that can score or facilitate. Meanwhile, Jones Jr attacks the rim and Drummond imposes his will around the basket. Their second unit should shred a depleted Knicks bench; New York is sitting Fournier, Reddish, and Rose because they are searching for trade partners. Quickley and Hartenstein represent the only formidable second unit threats for New York, but Caruso likely neutralizes Quickley.

Overall, the Bulls are firing on all cylinders, and they have the defensive personnel to disrupt the Knicks. In addition, Brunson won’t be at 100% if he plays, and that’s vital because he orchestrates the offense.

Betting Trends

  • Knicks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall
  • Under is 6-0 in Knicks last 6 overall
  • Under is 6-1-1 in Bulls last 8 home games
  • Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings

Key Matchups

Which team will win the key matchups? Check out below for these vital battles.

Immanuel Quickley

Because the Bulls are far deeper at the moment, it’s paramount that Quickley scores in bunches to keep pace with Chicago’s bench. He faces an extremely tough defender in Caruso, but Quickley has the offensive repertoire to score on anybody. Efficiency is a concern; however, the Knicks bench could keep afloat should Quickley produce on offense. Without him, the Bulls may build a sizable lead when the starters sit.

RJ Barrett vs. Nikola Vucevic

They don’t guard each other, so why are they linked here? Offensive inconsistency. Both players severely struggle in this department, but both players have also been scorching recently. If only one of these players produces, then their respective team will gain a massive advantage. However, it’s more important for the Knicks because the Bulls possess more offensive options to turn to. Overall, this matchup may swing which team covers by itself.

New York Knicks Starting Lineup

PG: Jalen Brunson
SG: Quentin Grimes
SF: RJ Barrett
PF: Julius Randle
C: Mitchell Robinson

Chicago Bulls Lineups

PG: Ayo Dosunmu
SG: Zach LaVine
SF: DeMar DeRozan
PF: Patrick Williams
C: Nikola Vucevic

Key Injuries

New York Knicks Injuries: Jalen Brunson (Q), Obi Toppin (O), Ryan Arcidiacono (D), Trevor Keels (Q)

Chicago Bulls Injuries: Lonzo Ball (O), Ayo Dosunmu (Q), Alex Caruso (P)

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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