Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers NBA Betting Preview, Analysis

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose brings the ball up court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2016

The Chicago Bulls (25-19) will be happy to be hitting the road again for Thursday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers (9-38).

The Bulls begin their longest road trip of the season in Los Angeles but have won three of four away from home—also beating the number in two of them—while losing their last four at the United Center both straight up and against the spread on the NBA betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

Chicago’s up-and-down season can essentially be summed up in its last two games, upsetting the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 as a 10.5-point road underdog last Saturday and then losing 89-84 to the Miami Heat as a 6.5-point home favorite on Monday.

The Bulls also lost point guard Derrick Rose (15.3 points per game) yet again, as he did not play the second half against the Heat due to lower back and hamstring injuries.

Rose is listed as probable to return, but key reserve Nikola Mirotic (10.6 PPG) will not play until after the All-Star break following an appendectomy on Wednesday.

The Lakers still do not know the status of leading scorer Kobe Bryant (15.8 ppg) as they look to break a seven-game losing streak and cover for the third time in four games. Bryant missed the team’s 92-90 loss to the Dallas Mavericks as a 6.5-point home underdog Tuesday due to a shoulder injury, and he is considered questionable for this game.

Bryant has not played against Chicago since the 2012-13 season, and the Bulls have taken advantage of his absence by winning three of the past four meetings, according to the Odds Shark NBA Database.

However, Los Angeles won the most recent game between the teams 123-118 in double overtime last January 29 despite being a 9.5-point home dog. In that meeting, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 35 points, and Rose added 17 but made only seven of 26 shots from the field.

Former Laker Pau Gasol added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, while Jordan Hill and Wayne Ellington led Los Angeles with 26 and 23 points, respectively. Neither Hill nor Ellington still plays for the Lakers.

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