Chicago Bulls vs Toronto Raptors: Predictions, Betting Odds & Where to Watch

How to Watch

Where: Scotiabank Arena, in Toronto, ON, Canada

When: 6:00 PM EST, Sunday, 30 December 2018

How (TV/Radio): TSN and NBC Sports Chicago | 670 The Score and Sportsnet 590 The Fan

Chicago Bulls

Head Coach: Jim Boylen {All-Time 4-7 | CHI}

The Chicago Bulls are 10-26, just a game ahead of the New York Knicks, placing them thirteenth in the Eastern Conference. With an inspired win over the Washington Wizards, the Bulls pull to 4-6 in their last 10.

It’s been a difficult year for the Bulls between the coaching between Hoiberg and Boylen, to injuries that have ravaged the squad. Regardless the Bulls are a young, interesting team that are trying to build success without the wins.

Zach Lavine and Lauri Markkanen are players any team would want on their roster. Young, dynamic, and capable, their combined talents make the future bright for the Bulls. For now, the question is whether the Bulls organization has the culture to foster their young talent.

Toronto Raptors

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 26-11 | TOR}

The Toronto Raptors are currently ranked second in Eastern Conference and NBA. Despite the Raptors current standing, they’ve had it tough over the last couple of weeks and stand 5-5 in their last ten matches.

Health has been a big concern for the Raptors during the 18-19 season. In terms of Man Games Lost, the Toronto Raptors have lost more than 50 man games due to injury. Despite that, they sit at first in the Eastern Conference and the NBA.

The Raptors are coming off of an embarrassing loss against the Orlando Magic. Considering the Milwaukee Bucks are gaining on the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference standings, a win is surely in the minds of the Canadian based team.

What’s At Stake?

From 2014-2017 the Bulls won 11 straight against the Raptors. Times have changed in terms of franchise success, but the Bulls still lead the all-time series 48-38.

The Bulls are a bottom-feeding team looking for value in the lottery. While a win is desired, it would have no impact on their current rank.

With a loss against the Magic, the Raptors surrendered first place to the Milwaukee Bucks. A win against the Bulls will put the Raptors back on track and in first.

Questions to answer

Can Zach Lavine get the Bulls on track?

How many chances will CJ Miles get?

We are going to compare the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Lavine dropped 28-points off the bench against the Timberwolves

On Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls were manhandled by the Minnesota Timberwolves. After scoring only 37 points in the first half, they lost the game by a final margin of 119-94.

Injuries have absolutely derailed some of the Bulls growth. But with the return of Zach Lavine, things are looking up for them. Posting 28 points on 10-17 shooting in 26 minutes, Lavine showed that he is as ever the main option for the Bulls going forward.

With his health, Lavine is an incredibly dangerous guard off the dribble or from range. With capable front court threats in Markkanen and Parker, having a steady playmaking presence on the court will help to steady the Bulls offence.

CJ Miles is not in form

Last season, CJ Miles was the Toronto Raptors’ hired gun off of the bench. Averaging 10 points per game on 36% shooting from deep, Miles was an excellent spot-up and late clock option for the Toronto Raptors.

This season, Miles is yet to find his range. His numbers are down almost across the board, posting only five points per game on 31% from the field and 28% from deep. For his career Miles is a 36% shooter from three, so while his cold streak was just a bump at the beginning of the season it has turned into a massive hurdle for the Raptors.

The Raptors are looking for answers, Norman Powell has played well since his return from injury and would’ve taken up minutes from Miles if he were available against the Magic. Keep an eye out for Chris Boucher, against the Magic he scored nine points on three three-pointers and has shot 34% on eight attempts from range in the G-League.

Chicago Bulls Roster Notes

F Bobby Portis (ankle) will miss the next 2-3 weeks in order to recover.

G Denzel Valentine (ankle) is out for the season after undergoing ankle stabilization surgery.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

G Kyle Lowry (back) was out on Friday against the Magic and will be a game time decision against the Bulls on Sunday.

C Jonas Valanciunas (hand) will be reevaluated in the new year after undergoing surgery to repair a dislocated thumb.

G-F Norman Powell (personal) missed Friday’s game against the Magic, it is unknown when he will return.

Head-to-Head: Pascal Siakam vs Lauri Markkanen

Pascal Siakam

14.7 PPG | 2.7 APG | 6.4 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .586 FG% | .333 3P%

Lauri Markkanen

17.4 PPG | 1.2 APG | 6.8 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 0.8 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .430 FG% | .390 3P%

Pascal Siakam and Lauri Markkanen are two young and exciting power forwards that will treat the eyes of NBA fans for what is likely to be a long time. One a Cameroonian lightning bolt across the court, the other a Finnish rock of production, both provide much to their teams success.

A former footballer, Pascal Siakam’s primary ability as an NBA player at the moment is his ability to run the court with or without the ball. Still not solid in his decision making, his ability to beat even guards up the court make him an incredibly dangerous player. When he channels that energy on the defensive end, Siakam is an absolute game changer.

The 7’0 Finnish forward Markkanen has a full bag of tools at his disposal for the Chicago Bulls. Able to shoot the three and take it to the hoop, Markkanen is a dangerous force on offence. He is a bit slow footed on the other side of the ball, but when in the correct place Markkanen’s length allows him to challenge most anyone at the rim.

Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Toronto Raptors favoured over the Chicago Bulls by 13, with an over/under of 109.