Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#531 Chicago Bulls 216.5 vs.
#532 Philadelphia 76ers -7.5
Friday, January 17, 2020 at 7:05pm EST
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Written by Chris Kubala

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#531 Chicago
#532 Philadelphia
15-27
26-16
20-22
19-20-3
20-21-1
21-19-2
105
109
107
105

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A pair of Eastern Conference teams on opposite sides of the cut line take the floor in the City of Brotherly Love. The Chicago Bulls are on the road as they travel to face the Philadelphia 76ers Friday night. Chicago comes in off a 115-106 win at home over Washington Wednesday night in their last game. Philadelphia dropped Brooklyn 117-106 at home in an Atlantic Division contest Wednesday night in their most recent action. The 76ers lead the all-time regular season series 122-106 and took three of the four meeting last season. That includes a 125-109 home win in the most recent matchup on April 10, 2019.

Chicago Bulls Fighting Injury Issues

Chicago got back in the win column as they knocked off Washington at home but they took another blow to their rotation in the process. The Bulls entered Thursday tied for third in the Central Division, 21 games behind the Bucks. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Chicago was tied for ninth with Detroit, four games behind the Nets for the final playoff spot. The Bulls trailed by five at the half, rallied to lead by five after three quarters, and came up with a critical run in the fourth to secure the win. Chicago led 96-95 with 8:23 to play before going on a 10-0 run over the next 4:30 to take an 11-point lead. Washington didn’t get closer than nine after that. Chicago shot 50.6 percent from the floor, including 14 of 38 from three-point range, and forced 17 Washington turnovers in the game. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the win.

The Bulls are 25th in the league in scoring offense this season with 106 points per game. Chicago is 25th in the league in rebounding with 43.1 boards a night while ranking 21st with 22.9 assists per contest. The Bulls are above average defensively as they are 10th by allowing 107.7 points per contest. Zach LaVine leads the team with 24.6 points per game on the year. Lauri Markkanen (15 points, 6.6 rebounds) and Wendell Carter Jr. (11.7 points, 9.9 rebounds) are solid post presences. Coby White contributes 11.3 points a game as a rookie while Thaddeus Young (9.1 points) and Otto Porter Jr. (11.2 points) are good contributors. The Bulls need to get more production from Tomas Satoransky (10.3 points, 5.3 assists) and Kris Dunn from the point guard position. Chicago is 26th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 43.6 percent from the floor. The Bulls are 9th in the league with 12.5 three-pointers a game and stand tied for 17th by shooting 35.4 percent from beyond the arc. Porter Jr. is out for this contest with a foot injury and hopes to return around the All-Star break. Carter Jr. is out four to six weeks with a severe right ankle sprain he suffered January 6. Daniel Gafford suffered a dislocated thumb against Washington January 15 and is out two to four weeks. That pushes Cristiano Felicio, who has played a total of nine minutes this season, into the mix.

Philadelphia 76ers Try to Keep Winning at Home

Philadelphia bounced back from a pair of road losses as they returned home and took care of Brooklyn to get back in the win column. The 76ers entered Thursday third in the Atlantic Division, 2.5 games behind Boston for the top spot. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Philadelphia stood sixth, 10 games behind the Bucks for the top spot but only one game behind fourth-place Toronto. The 76ers trailed by three at the half and by four after three quarters before getting things together late. Philadelphia took advantage of a tired Brooklyn team, outscoring them 31-16 in the fourth, including a game-closing 13-2 run over the final 3:51, to earn the win. The 76ers shot 51.1 percent from the field, including 11 of 30 from three-point range, and held a 49-44 edge on the glass. Tobias Harris led Philadelphia with 34 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

The 76ers are 20th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 109.1 points per game on the year. Philadelphia is 8th by collecting 46.1 rebounds per contest while the team is third by dishing out 26.2 assists per game. The 76ers are 6th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 105.7 points per game this season. Joel Embiid leads Philadelphia with 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game on the year. Tobias Harris puts up 19.6 points plus 6.8 boards a game, Ben Simmons adds 15.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 2.2 steals a night while Al Horford (12.5 points, 6.6 rebounds) along with Josh Richardson (15.7 points) are solid contributors on the offensive end. Furkan Korkmaz, Mike Scott, Matisse Thybulle, James Ennis III and Raul Neto are key reserves for Brett Brown’s group. Philadelphia is 8th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.9 percent from the field as a team on the year. The 76ers are 23rd in the league as they splash 10.7 triples a night while ranking tied for 15th by shooting 35.5 percent from beyond the arc on the year. Embiid underwent surgery for a torn ligament in his finger January 10 and is expected to miss a couple of weeks.

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Chicago showed some grit by winning at home over Washington despite losing another young guy in the process. There’s a difference between knocking off the fourth-worst team in the East on your home floor and going to face a Philadelphia team that is 19-2 at home. The 76ers don’t have Embiid but Harris has been terrific in picking up the slack. Philadelphia has capable guys that can step up and contribute when one of their big pieces missing. That’s something that the Bulls lack right now, not to mention that their depth is lacking. Philadelphia is excellent at home and they take care of business here.

Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers

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Chicago has had their ups and downs on the offensive end of the floor but until guys other than LaVine step up consistently, it's hard to have faith in them breaking out. The Bulls have to contend with a Philadelphia defense that is pretty stiff this season, especially at home. On the year, Philadelphia allows only 102.1 ppg at home on the year compared to their 109.3 ppg mark as the visiting team. The Bulls are better offensively on the road (107.6 ppg) than they are at home (104.5 ppg) but they'll be tested here. Don't expect an up and down the floor type of game here as the Bulls are 15th in pace with 99.8 possessions per game while Philadelphia is tied for 18th at 99.1 possessions a night. This one ends up under the total.

Prediction: Under

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Philadelphia comes into this game 14th in the league in first half scoring offense with 55.5 points per game this season. The 76ers are a solid fifth in first half scoring differential with a +3.2 ppg margin this season. That number jumps to +7.3 ppg at home on the year. On the flip side, Chicago is just 24th in first half scoring with 53 points per game on the year. The Bulls are 15th in first half scoring differential with a +0.6 ppg margin on the year. That number shrinks to +0.1 ppg on the road. Philadelphia is extremely tough at home and they hold the lead at the half here.

Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers first half

Half-Time Total Bet

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Philadelphia comes into this one fourth in the league in first half scoring defense by allowing only 52.3 points per game this season. That number drops to 50.3 points per game at home in the opening half of contests. The average first half for the 76ers this season comes out at 107.8 points per game. Chicago is fifth in first half scoring defense by allowing 52.4 points per game on the year. That puts the typical first half for the Bulls at 105.4 ppg this season. Look for this one to be well defended on both ends, keeping this one under the total at the half.

Prediction: Under first half
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.