The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips for the first clash of the season between Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.
12:00 (AEDT), Sat 13th Feb @ United Center, Chicago
History: Played 61: Bulls 34 V Timberwolves 27
Last meeting: April 11, 2021: Timberwolves 121 d Bulls 117 at Target Center
Final Thoughts: Chicago Bulls are chasing back-to-back wins, while Minnesota Timberwolves are aiming to bounce-back from a streak-breaking upset loss.
The 34-21 Bulls are clinging to second spot in the East, despite failing to win more than two consecutive games in the past month and losing three of their last five. After going down to heavyweights the 76ers (119-108) and Suns (127-124), the Bulls beat the Hornets 121-109 in Charlotte two days ago.
In-form All-Star DeMar DeRozan top-scored with 36 points (after going off for 45 and 38 points in the Bulls’ previous two losses), while Zach LaVine (27 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast) and big man Nikola Vucevic (18 pts, 16 reb, 8 ast) made big all-round contributions. The Bulls are doing it tough injury-wise, with Derrick Jones Jr, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and Patrick Williams all out for lengthy stints.
The 29-26 Timberwolves are seventh in the West and carved out convincing wins over the Jazz and Nuggets to kick off a recent five-game winning run. But after thumping the Kings 134-114 on Wednesday (AEDT), they went down in Sacramento 132-119 the following day.
Karl-Anthony Towns won All-Star selection and is averaging 24.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists. But high-profile teammates Patrick Beverley, Antony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell are all listed as questionable for this clash, as are Taurean Prince and Josh Okogie.
The Timberwolves have won nine of their last 12 against the Bulls, but the teams split their games in each of the past two seasons. All four of those games produced totals of at least 223 points. Last season the Bulls prevailed 133-126 in overtime in Chicago, while the T-Wolves banked a 121-117 victory in Minneapolis.
Chicago are a solid 19-8 at home this season – and an NBA-best 18-9 ATS – despite losing their last two at United Center. Minnesota are 13-16 on the road (15-14 ATS).
There’s not much between these teams, but the T-Wolves’ glut of starting line-up injury question marks is a concern. DeRozan, LaVine and Vucevic are on fire, which could spell trouble for a team that has conceded 114-plus points in seven of their last 10 games.
Best Bet: Tri-Bet – Bulls -4.5 @ $2.10
Same Game Multi: Result – Bulls; Total – Over 239.5; DeMar DeRozan Points – Over 28.5; Nikola Vucevic Rebounds – Over 12.5 @ $8.02