Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Knicks vs. Bulls (12/14/2022) - Taking Vegas



Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Knicks vs. Bulls (12/14/2022)

By TakingVegas Staff Writer
December 14, 2022
Photo by: Getty Images

New York Knicks vs Chicago Bulls (12/14 @ 7:30 PM ET)

Spread: Bulls -3.5
Money Line: Knicks +145 / Bulls -170
Total: 224.5

Overview and Betting Info

The New York Knicks (14-13) will head to the Windy City on Wednesday night to take on the Chicago Bulls (11-15). The Bulls lead the overall series 126-113, but the teams split the four-game series last season.

The Knicks are 12-12-2 against the spread this season and have now covered in five of their last six games. They’ve gone over the total 11 times, but have gone under in their last five games.

The Bulls are 11-13-1 versus the spread and have covered just once in their last five. They’ve gone over the total 10 times, including in three of their last five games.

New York Knicks

The Knicks enter Wednesday’s contest looking to add to their four-game win streak. The hot streak couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Knicks had lost six of their last eight games. A big reason for the turnaround is their defensive dominance, allowing an average of 92.7 points during the streak. They average the third most rebounds per game (47.4) in the NBA, thanks to their physical style of play. The Knicks will be without Obi Toppin and have Cam Reddish and Jalen Brunson listed as questionable. It’s a brutal set of injuries as Brunson is the second-leading scorer (20.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG), and all three are vital three-point shooters for a Knick’s team with the lowest percentage in the NBA (31.9%).

The Knicks are led by Julius Randle, who leads in points (22.3) and rebounds (8.7) per game. He sputtered a bit to begin the year, but he’s been fantastic in his last five games (27.2 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 91% FT). Randle’s resurgence has been a big reason for New York’s recent success, and he’ll need to keep it going as Brunson deals with an ankle injury. He’ll need help from the Knicks’ other scorer, RJ Barrett. The guard is averaging 18.9 points per game, but he’s notoriously streaky and shoots just 28.8% from three. If Brunson and Reddish can’t go, the Knicks will need Barrett to improve on that number Wednesday.

If Brunson can’t go on Wednesday, expect to see Immanuel Quickley step in for the start. Quickley (10.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.0 APG) is capable of scoring in punches and has been a bench leader. He is also a threat from three, though he’s making just 31% of his shots from beyond the arc. Another supporting player we’ll be watching is Mitchell Robinson. The big man has been a force down low and is now fifth in the NBA with 1.9 blocks per game. As good as Randle is, Mitchell is a big reason they are one of the better defensive frontcourts in the league.

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls came into this season with high expectations, but things haven’t played out as they hoped. They currently sit at eleventh in the East and have lost four of their last six games. A big reason for their struggles is the absence of Lonzo Ball. The star point guard was a huge part of their success last year, but injuries have kept him out all season with no date for return.

DeMar DeRozan leads the team with an average of 20 points per game, with 5 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He’s making 50% of his field goals and has played well against the Knicks, averaging 30 points in their four matchups last season. He’s not alone, as Zach Lavine (21.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.1 APG) and Nikola Vucevic (16.2 PPG, 10.7 RPG) are both threats from the three-point line. We’ll be looking for a big night from LaVine in particular, as he’s scored 21 or more points in every game he’s faced the Knicks.

While the star trio handles most of Chicago’s scoring, they have had excellent seasons from Ayo Dosunmu (10.2 PPG) and Patrick Williams (43% from three). They’ve provided scoring in critical situations, which has been crucial as Alex Caruso has been limited by injuries this season. The Bulls also have gotten good play off the bench from Goran Dragic (7.8 PPG), though he’s no longer the scorer he once was. One player we’ll be watching on Wednesday is Patrick Williams. The former fourth-overall pick has been on fire over his last two games, scoring 30 points on 70% shooting from the field and 71% from three. His size and ability to shoot outside should help open up the Knicks’ stout defensive frontcourt.

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