Spoiler Alert: The opening game loss to the LA Clippers didn’t exactly please LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Many sportswriter types feared the worst for this team after the Clippers 112-102 victory over the Lakers in their first meeting of the year. It didn’t quite work out that way. The Lakers have been downright monstrous ever since winning and covering their next five games.
The Lakers finish a three game road trip on Tuesday at the United Center against the hapless Chicago Bulls. They’ll then have a couple of days off before playing five of their next six at the Staples Center. The Bulls are a grease fire. They’ve reached the playoffs only once in the past four seasons–they finished 8th in the Eastern Conference in 2016-2017, a fact that says more about the relative weakness of the Eastern Conference at that point than anything else. Since then, they’ve put up back to back 13th place finishes winning 27 games in 2017-2018 and 22 games last season. The Bulls are 2-5 SU/ATS and have wins over Detroit at home and Memphis on the road. In their last action they were butchered 108-95 at Indiana giving them only 1 cover in their last 5 games heading into this matchup.
The Bulls’ pointspread performance at the United Center has been downright embarrassing. They’ve covered the number in just 7 of their last 30 games on their home floor. They’ve also been manhandled by the Pacific Division in recent years putting up a record of 2-18 SU/5-13 ATS. At some point, the Lakers will have an ‘off night’ but it isn’t likely to happen here. Even with all of the turmoil in the Lakers’ camp during the past couple of years they’ve had little trouble with the Bulls winning 4 straight in the series going 3-0-1 ATS. They’ve won and covered their last two trips to Chicago including the most recent meeting on March 12, 2019. The Lakers won 123-107 easily covering as -2.5 road favorites.
The Western Conference is ridiculously competitive this season–pending the outcome of Monday’s games the top 8 teams in the West are separated by a total of 1.5 games. The Lakers are on top of the heap right now but just 1/2 game back are the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves and their hated nemesis the LA Clippers. This early in the season with the team playing as well as they are it’s doubtful they’ll take the ‘foot off the gas’ against an opponent they should beat with ease.