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Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction: Two Surging Teams Meet in the Valley

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published January 22, 2024
10 min read

The Chicago Bulls will look to continue their mid-season climb in the Eastern Conference standings when they take on the Phoenix Suns, winners of five straight, in the desert on Monday evening.

The Bulls seemed destined for a roster blow-up at the trade deadline but are 16-9 over their last 25 games. Meanwhile, the Suns have finally started to fulfill their potential now that Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal are all healthy and in the lineup.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Bulls vs. Suns matchup on Monday.

Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction

Bulls vs. Suns Betting Odds for Monday, Jan. 22

The Suns are favored over the Bulls by 5.5 points. They’ve been better on the road up to this point but are still two games over .500 at home, while Chicago is just 7-13 away from the Windy City. 

Chicago Bulls+5.5 (-110)+185Over 229.5 (-105)
Phoenix Suns-5.5 (-110)-225Under 229.5 (-115)

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The Bulls are a bit of a throwback team in a league obsessed with modernity and innovation. They play at the slowest pace in the league and rank 22nd in three-point attempts per game, while most other teams prioritize speed and creating shot opportunities from beyond the arc.

They’re also 28th in free throws attempted per game and don’t shoot the ball particularly well, ranking 24th in field goal percentage (46.1%), which makes their recent renaissance tough to figure out. 

Despite not having a defensive-oriented roster composition, Chicago has been very solid on defense. The team is 15th in defensive rating for the year and up to sixth over the last 15 games, although it hasn’t faced a ton of high-scoring opponents recently.

There are several keys to the Bulls’ defense. The first and foremost is the outstanding play of Alex Caruso, who is 21st in individual defensive rating amongst players with 20+ games played, averaging 20+ minutes per night. His 108.9 rating is better than any team in the league bar the Minnesota Timberwolves and 5.3 points better than the Bulls’ 114.2.

The versatility of Patrick Williams is also a major plus, while the speed and buy-in of Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu have made guarding the perimeter easier.

The Bulls do a great job creating points off turnovers and rank sixth in the league despite their lethargic pace. They also get back and set their defense without giving many easy looks to opponents, ranking third in opponents’ points off turnovers and 12th in fastbreak points allowed.  

While Chicago is up to 15th in net rating (+0.8) over the last 15 games, it’s only 19th in road rating (-5.2) during that time and 22nd for the season (-6.5).

On the other side of the court are the Suns. They struggled for health and consistency in their starting lineup all year and could not play their big three for a full 48 minutes together until months into the season. 

There are several perspectives that can be taken when analyzing this team. First, they’re 10-3 over their last 13 outings and look like a much more cohesive unit on both sides than they did early in the season.

That said, there isn’t yet a large enough sample size to determine if the Suns have turned their season around. They outscored opponents by an average of 3.5 points per 100 possessions over the last 15 games, an improvement on their season standard of +1.9, though they’d only move up one spot in the overall ladder with their recent average.

On a more positive note, four of the Suns’ last five wins came against teams that are either projected to make the playoffs or play-in tournaments. They also won those games by an average of 10 points and improved their scoring output by 6.5 points per game.

Although this team will never be elite defensively, Frank Vogel has done a nice job adjusting his rotations and getting the team locked in in all phases. They’re now communicating better when they don’t have the ball and are crashing the glass (fifth in rebound rate).

Despite having their struggles at home, the Suns are 6-2 in the Footprint Center since Beal returned to the lineup. They’re also 4-2 on the second night of back-to-backs and should have plenty of confidence given their recent hot streak.

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Bulls vs. Suns Prediction and Betting Pick

The Bulls’ tempo and intensity can provide problems for lots of teams, but this is the wrong time to bet against the Suns. With injury concerns behind them (for the time being), they’re finally unleashing their full offense, complete with three elite scorers and several three-point snipers for role players.

Chicago has done a nice job getting itself back to a competitive level and could be a play-in contender. However, this feels like the run the Suns have been waiting for, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them extend their win streak even beyond this game.

Watch for the Suns to continue to light up the scoreboard with a win and cover at home on Monday. 

Bulls vs. Suns pick: Suns -5.5 at BetMGM

How to Watch Bulls vs. Suns on 1/22/24

  • When: Monday, Jan. 22 @ 7:00/9:00 p.m. MT/ET

  • Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ

  • TV: NBA League Pass

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Grant Mitchell

548 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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