Houston Rockets (4-7) at Chicago Bulls (5-8)
NBA Basketball: Monday, January 18, 2021 at 8:00 pm (United Center)
The Line: Chicago Bulls +1 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Chicago Bulls play host to the new-look Houston Rockets at the United Center on Monday night.
The Houston Rockets have been doing it tough this season as they’ve lost seven of their first 11 games and they will be hoping to bounce back after falling to the Spurs in a 103-91 loss on Saturday. Christian Wood led the team with 24 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks, Mason Jones added 24 points on eight of 12 shooting while Ben McLemore chipped in with 21 points on seven of 14 shooting, but no other player scored more than seven points. As a team, the Rockets shot just 36 percent from the field and 12 of 32 from the 3-point line as they struggled early on and fell behind by 15 points, before dominating the second half where they held the shorthanded Rockets to just 38 points to win easily in the end.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls have struggled this season as they’ve lost eight of their first 13 games, but they will be looking to build some momentum after last night’s 117-101 upset win over the Mavericks. Lauri Markkanen led the team with 29 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, Garrett Temple added 21 points on nine of 15 shooting off the bench, Thaddeus Young scored 15 points while Otto Porter Jr. chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds. As a team, the Bulls shot 50 percent from the field and seven of 25 from the 3-point line as they took control of the game with 40 points in the second quarter to lead by 15 points going into halftime and it was mainly due to the reserves who outscored the Mavericks’ reserves by 61-22.
Looking at the betting trends, the Rockets are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games, 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games against a team with a losing record and 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games overall. The Bulls are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a losing record, 4-1 ATS in their last five games playing on two days rest and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
Head to head, the under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings overall and the Rockets are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall.
The Rockets have struggled with injuries from opening night but the good news is that Eric Gordon is expected to return after missing the last two games. The Bulls have been pretty poor so far this season, but they will take plenty of confidence from Markkanen’s big night and the production of their second unit in last night’s win. It’s tough to pick between these two teams, but with the Bulls playing this one on zero days rest, I’d prefer a play on the Rockets with Gordon back on the court.