Both the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls closed out the season strong, but at 41-41 and 40-42, they still have some work to do to go from the 9-10 seeds to the postseason. This is a win-or-go home game in the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament. The winner will face the loser of the 7-8 game for a chance to claim the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. If Chicago gets there it’s a chance to face off with the team that took them out in five games last season, the Milwaukee Bucks.
Let’s check out the odds for the Raptors and Bulls in Toronto.
Bulls vs. Raptors odds, spread and total
Bulls vs. Raptors prediction and pick
The Bulls finished the year 9-6 in their last 15 games, but so did the Raptors. Both teams have been really strong down the stretch, the Raptors have had a 6.7 net rating over that stretch, fourth best of any team while Chicago has a net rating of 3.7, ninth over those 15 games. The Bulls did it by adding Patrick Beverly and getting cohesion from their two stars on the wing, while Toronto improved with a trade for Jakob Poeltl.
The Raptors are well built to handle the Bulls, they are loaded with wing defenders to shut down DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, the last time they played was February 28, DeRozan was held to 13 points and LaVine only had 17. Nikola Vucevic had 23 points, but the Raptors won 104-98. OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes matchup well against a wing heavy team.
In February LaVine and DeRozan averaged 25.5 points and 18.9 points each, but once the calendar turned to March, they went up to 28.4 and 24.1 points a piece. They’re playing much better basketball recently, but I think Toronto is a bad matchup and is the better team right now.
Pick: Raptors -5 (-110)
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change