NBA Play-In Odds: Bulls vs. Raptors prediction, pick, how to watch – 4/12/2023

The Chicago Bulls and the Toronto Raptors will face off in the play-in, with the winner getting to play for a chance at the eighth seed. We’re in Toronto, sharing our NBA odds series, making a Bulls-Raptors prediction and pick while showing you how to watch.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not that time. We are talking about the NBA Playoffs, and like a prologue to any good book, the NBA Play-In is the first chapter in the 2-month marathon many basketball fans will lovingly endure.

The Bulls finished the season with a record of 40-42. Unfortunately, they did not have the services of Lonzo Ball, as he dealt with nagging injuries all season. But the Bulls managed to persevere without him. Somehow, they overcame that and made it to the play-in on the strength of a solid finish.

The Raptors finished with a record of 41-41. Initially, the Raptors looked like they may miss the playoffs as they sat with a 16-20 record on January 1. But they turned things around and picked up the pace as the season continued before going 6-3 over their final nine games.

The Bulls will enter as the 10th seed for the second straight season. Significantly, they are attempting to make the playoffs after just one appearance over six seasons. The Bulls have not made it out of the first round since 2014-2015. Meanwhile, the Raptors are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Toronto was the fifth seed last season. Sadly, the 2018-2019 NBA Champion seems like a lifetime away.

The Bulls and Raptors played a home-and-home series from November 6-7, 2022 with the teams splitting. Then, the Bulls defeated the Raptors 104-98 at the United Center on February 28, 2023.

Here are the Bulls-Raptors NBA Play-In odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NBA Play-In Odds: Bulls-Raptors Odds

Chicago Bulls: +5 (-110)

Toronto Raptors: -5 (-110)

Over: 214.5 (-110)

Under: 214.5 (-110)

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Why The Bulls Could Cover The Spread

The Bulls have pieced together a somewhat competitive team. Substantially, most of their production comes from three core players who have helped carry Chicago into the play-in.

Zach LaVine is their leader, with 24.9 points per game. Ultimately, he has produced in bunches and can score 40 on any night. DeMar DeRozan has excelled, with 24.7 points per game. Yes, he is slightly older, but he has retained his effectiveness and ability. Nikola Vucevic is still a solid player, with 17.8 points per game. Thus, look for him to square up and hit a 3-pointer at some point in the game. The bench averages 31.3 points per game and will have to pick up the pace when the three stars are out of the game.

The Bulls rank third in field goal shooting percentage, fifth in free-throw shooting percentage, and 16th in 3-point shooting percentage. Also, the Bulls struggle on the boards, ranking 21st in rebounds. But the Bulls are solid at handling the rock, ranking ninth in turnovers. However, they struggle to protect the rim, ranking 20th in blocked shots.

The Bulls will cover the spread if they can score early and build a lead. Then, their bench must hit their shots.

Why The Raptors Could Cover The Spread

The Raptors do not have a megastar that is ready to take over a game. However, they have plenty of solid stars that can all play an essential role in leading Toronto to victory in the play-in.

Pascal Siakam is their top guy, with 24.2 points per game. Significantly, he can adjust and interchange roles when needed. Fred VanVleet is solid, with 19.3 points per game. Meanwhile, Gary Trent Jr. has averaged 17.3 points per game. The Raptors also look to OG Anunoby for help, as he generates 16.8 points per game. Likewise, Scottie Barnes is another option, with 15.4 points per game. But the Raptors have a poor bench, averaging 28 points per game.

The Raptors also struggle to shoot, ranking 27th in field goal shooting percentage. Likewise, they are horrid from the triples, ranking 28th in 3-point shooting percentage. The Raptors are average at the charity stripe, ranking 17th in free-throw shooting percentage. Also, they are okay on the boards, ranking 18th in rebounds. But the Raptors are great at handling the ball, ranking first in turnovers. Lastly, the Raptors are eighth in blocked shots, establishing themselves as a defensive threat.

The Raptors will cover the spread if they can convert on their field goal chances. Then, they must play stifling defense.

Final Bulls-Raptors Prediction & Pick

The Bulls somehow made the play-in despite not having their best playmaker. Consequently, it will bite them in the end as the Raptors will key in on their mistakes. The Bulls will keep it close though, making the Raptors earn every point.

Final Bulls-Raptors Prediction & Pick: Chicago Bulls: +5 (-110)

The post NBA Play-In Odds: Bulls vs. Raptors prediction, pick, how to watch – 4/12/2023 appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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