Free Picks: Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets

Bulls vs Nets NBA week 21
Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets, NBA, United Center

On Tuesday night it will basically be win or pack it in for the Chicago Bulls at home against the Brooklyn Nets, the second-best team in the Eastern Conference. It’s a long shot for them to make the play-in tournament at this point, but sitting 3.5 games behind the Washington Wizards with four games left means that all hope has not yet been lost. Chicago is also riding into this contest on a three-game winning streak, which is encouraging.

Bulls Take On Nets As Chicago Looks To Secure Play-In Spot (Season Betting Record: 96-104)

The Chicago Bulls have made strides this season and even made a blockbuster trade at the deadline, bringing in All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic, who has put up 15 double-doubles in 23 games in the Windy City. Unfortunately, an extended stay on the sidelines for Zach LaVine due to the league’s COVID-induced health and safety protocols kept him and Vooch from building much chemistry.

They’re both in there and playing at full strength now, though, with 30 points from LaVine and a 29-point, 16-rebound display from Vucevic in their last outing. They’re going to need a duplicate performance from that duo on Tuesday night if they expect to keep their season and play-in tournament hopes alive.

The Brooklyn Nets are no pushovers, unfortunately. The Bulls have beaten the injury-plagued Boston Celtics, the Charlotte Hornets, and the Detroit Pistons during this current winning streak, a trio of teams that aren’t quite up to par with what Billy Donovan’s Bulls can expect to deal with at the United Center on Tuesday night.

Brooklyn is coming off their first win in their last five, so considering that rough recent track record they will not be taking this one lightly either. Not to mention the fact that in the Eastern Conference standings they are just one game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, who are in third place and nipping at their heels after having beaten the Nets in back-to-back games last week.

The good news for the Nets is that their two heavy hitters have been living up to their reputations recently. Kevin Durant has scored 30+ in five of his last seven games, including a pair of 40+ performances. Kyrie Irving bounced back from a quiet stretch with a 45-point explosion in the team’s big-time win over the Denver Nuggets to bust their losing streak on Saturday.

One of the biggest reasons that we’re liking the Nets as our NBA pick for this matchup is the positivity that must be surrounding the team right now with the recent news that arguably their most important player, James Harden, could be back as soon as Wednesday. He won’t be available on Tuesday, but just the fact that Beardo’s return now seems imminent should give his team extra heart.

After acquiring the Beard in a trade in January, the Nets gained a reputation for playing up to the top competition in the league while performing with less urgency against lesser squads. Not so anymore. They are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games against teams with records under .500, and believe it or not, the Bulls fall into that category despite the fact that they’re battling for a playoff spot.

A big problem for the Bulls this season has been their inability to find a rhythm at home at the United Center. They have put up an ugly 14-19 ATS record in Chicago this season, and it gets even worse when they come into the contest as underdogs, a situation in which they have gone just 7-12 ATS so far in this campaign.

Another caveat that has us believing the Nets’ NBA point spread is a top pick for this exciting Tuesday night NBA slate is the fact that the Nets have had two full days off since their last outing. That means that they will be well-rested and prepared for this tilt with the Bulls, who have had just one day off. 

That bodes well for Brooklyn bettors considering the Nets have gone 11-7 ATS with a rest advantage, the fourth-best such record in the association this season. The Bulls are fighting for their lives, but it’s doubtful that they have enough left in the tank to take down a Nets team that isn’t exactly playing for nothing either. We like the Nets to cover a -4.5 point spread at decent -127 NBA odds as another of our best bets for today.

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Brooklyn Nets -4.5 Point Spread


  • Brooklyn has gone 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Chicago
  • Brooklyn is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against a team under .500
  • Brooklyn is 11-7 ATS with a rest advantage this season
  • Chicago is 7-12 ATS as a home underdog this season

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Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.