Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#537 Chicago Bulls 211 vs.
#538 Sacramento Kings -5
Monday, December 2, 2019 at 10:05pm EST
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#537 Chicago
#538 Sacramento
6-14
8-10
35-45-2
45-36-1
37-43-2
40-41-1
104
114
113
115

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: December 2, 2019, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA, 10:00 PM ET

The Chicago Bulls stay on the road for a trip to California in Monday’s head-to-head tilt with the Sacramento Kings. A monstrous 100-97 win over the Denver Nuggets has the Kings riding a tidal wave of momentum. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak to the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. Meanwhile, the Bulls have fallen twice to the Portland Trail Blazers and once to the Golden State Warriors in their last three games.

Bulls lose third straight game

The Bulls getting ramrodded by the Trail Blazers at home was an early sign it was destined to happen again on the road. All that’s separating those two losses is an even worse loss to the Warriors, putting Chicago at 0-3 in their last three outings.

They’ll try to avoid a fourth consecutive loss in Monday’s road game against a Kings defense that surprisingly came to life on Saturday. It’s the same team that has quietly only allowed 99.0 points on average in their last three games. It’ll be an uphill battle with the Bulls coming into the game with the worst shooting percentage in the league. It’s no surprise considering there is no other reliable scoring option for the team outside of Zach LaVine.

The Bulls didn’t expect forward Lauri Markkanen to take two steps back in his third season. Coming off a year when he averaged 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, he has regressed to 13.3 points and seven rebounds per game. His numbers are now worse than they were in his rookie season.

Defense is the only ticket to victory for the Bulls at this point. They are capable of hanging around in games even if they’re struggling to knock down shots.

Kings stun the Nuggets in overtime

The Kings aren’t an easy team to beat at the Golden 1 Center.

Denver had to learn that lesson the hard way in a stunning upset loss on Saturday. A showing of resilience from the Kings helped them overcome a 17-point deficit at halftime and knock off one of the top teams in the Western Conference in overtime. More importantly, Harrison Barnes continued to tease his burgeoning star potential by dropping a season-high 30 points against the No. 1 defensive team in basketball.

“That’s largely my role, to come in to help where needed,” Barnes said after the game, via ESPN.com. “Some nights it’s scoring. Some nights it’s rebounding, some night it’s defense. Some nights it’s simply just making the right play. That’s something I try to do consistently for this team.”

With starting guard De’Aaron Fox still sidelined with an ankle injury, Barnes will continue his efforts in providing an extra scoring boost in Monday’s run-in with the Bulls. He’ll be facing a Bulls defense allowing a 46.7 field goal shooting percentage to opposing teams. The only possible foil to the Kings’ offensive success is turnovers. They rank in the bottom-half of the league in average turnovers per game.

The Bulls are already struggling on the offensive end of the floor, and the last thing the Kings need is to help them initiate fast-break scenarios. But considering how well they played defense against the Nuggets, they will likely be confident in any situation against the struggling Bulls’ offense. While it hasn’t always looked pretty, the Kings have the 11th-ranked scoring defense in league.

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It’s important to note the Kings played the Sixers and Celtics close ahead of their upset win over the Nuggets. So they are clearly rolling right now. They’ll also have the benefit of facing the Bulls at the Golden 1 Center. The Bulls are 3-7 on the road this season, while the Kings have mustered a 5-3 record when playing at home.

It’s hard to envision a team with the lack of offensive firepower like the Bulls knocking off a Kings team with a defense that packs a punch. The combination of Barnes and Buddy Hield will continue to make up for the glaring absences of Fox and Marvin Bagley III.

Chicago couldn’t even muster a decent offensive effort against the Warriors. Do you really think they’re somehow going to flip the switch against a better Kings team on the road? LaVine can’t carry the load by himself, and something clearly isn’t right with Markkanen. I’m taking the Kings to get the win and continue to roll on Monday.

Prediction: Sacramento Kings (-5)

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The Kings are missing a couple of crucial offensive players in Fox and Bagley. That has limited their already suspect offense even further this season.

They have now fallen to the bottom of the league with the third-worst scoring offense averaging only 104.2 points per game. They’re fortunate enough to be taking on a Bulls team that isn’t even averaging 100 points in their last three games.

Markkanen has been the subject of trade rumors due to the Bulls struggling to carve out a significant role for him. It isn’t common to see a burgeoning young talent endure such a precipitous dip in production this early in his career. I’m taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (210)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.