The Oklahoma City Thunder play the Chicago Bulls and if you’re looking to do some last-minute betting research, you’re in luck! We’ll give you the latest point spread, moneyline odds and over-under number, as well as the information you’ll need to make the smartest bet on BetMGM.
The game tips off at 7 p.m. and can be seen on FOX Sports Oklahoma.
The Thunder (5-6) won three games in a row but dropped the next two to the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. They look to get a win against their former head coach, Billy Donovan.
Donovan’s Bulls (4-7) haven’t played since Sunday. Their Tuesday game against the Boston Celtics was postponed. Over that weekend prior, they lost by a combined five points to the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.
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The lines, courtesy of BetMGM
Point spread: Thunder +1.5
Moneyline: Thunder -105/Bulls -115
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How to watch: Thunder vs. Bulls
Advice and prediction
The Thunder are actually getting some respect from the bettors this week. This is the closest they’ve been to being favored all season, and given as the Bulls have a worse record and haven’t played since Sunday, there’s reason why.
It’s not an easy bet on the Thunder, though. Otto Porter Jr. (back) and Lauri Markkanen (calf) are probable to play against OKC. Zach LaVine has been insane this year, scoring more than 30 points in four of his last five games, and the guards took advantage of Oklahoma City in the preseason.
Darius Bazley’s status was unclear as of Friday afternoon after suffering an ankle sprain against the Lakers.
Al Horford will be back on the court after missing the game against the Lakers for rest purposes.
Chicago is averaging the fifth-most points per game, but also giving up the third-most points. The Thunder’s defense has been average overall compared to the league, but their offense is near the bottom. With the Bull’s suspect defense, OKC could have a chance to break out a bit.
That’s what you would be relying on if you were to choose the over. Chicago averages 116 points per game, and if they hit that, the Thunder would need 109, which they’ve hit in only four of their 11 games. They haven’t faced a defense with as low a rating as the Bulls, though.
Oklahoma City looked very good in its wins over the New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, and with Horford back and Lu Dort set to defend LaVine, they could win again and get back to .500 on the season.
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How to watch Thunder vs. Bulls: Live stream, TV channel, game time, lineups
Thunder vs. Bulls
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37/HD 722, DirecTV 675, U-verse 751/1751)
Radio: WWLS 98.1 FM
Three things to know
• Former Thunder coach Billy Donovan will return to Oklahoma City for his first regular season game against the Thunder. The Thunder hosted the Bulls twice in the preseason. Donovan, hired by the Bulls in the offseason, went 243-157 (.608) in five seasons with the Thunder.
• Bulls guard Zach LaVine ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring (27.7) behind Bradley Beal (34.9), CJ McCollum (28.1) and Stephen Curry (27.8). LaVine is averaging 34.4 points per game on 54% shooting in his last five games.
• Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is expected to play Friday after missing Chicago’s last seven games due to COVID-19 protocols. Markkanen has averaged 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in four games.
Familiar coaches lead the way in Bulls vs. Thunder
FLM Jan 15, 2021
Billy Donovan and Mark Daigneault have spent plenty of time talking about coaching philosophy and coming up with game plans.
Friday, they'll square off against each other for the first time in the regular season when Donovan's Chicago Bulls play at the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Daigneault is in his first year as head coach.
Donovan left the Thunder in the offseason after five seasons as head coach, walking away before Oklahoma City started a major roster overhaul with an eye toward rebuilding.
Eventually, the Thunder stayed in house and promoted Daigneault, who was an assistant under Donovan for four seasons at Florida and last year with the Thunder.
"I would never be in this career position had it not been for my time at Florida," Daigneault said.
Daigneault predates Donovan in Oklahoma City, having left Donovan's Florida Gators' staff to coach the Thunder's G League team in 2014, one year before Donovan made the move from college to the NBA. Daigneault coached in the G League for five seasons.
"He's a guy that works hard to formulate his opinions and his thoughts," Donovan told The Oklahoman. "He has his beliefs, and as coaches you're not always going to agree on everything, but you have these heated discussions. ... Not yelling or screaming, but you're always going back and forth trying to find ways to make the team better. I always enjoyed that part with him."
Both teams enter Friday's game needing a turnaround.
The Bulls have dropped three consecutive games, allowing an average of 125 points per game during the stretch and are near the bottom in the league in defensive rating.
A big part of that has been turnovers.
Chicago has turned the ball over a league-worst 17.0 times per game.
While Chicago will still be a bit short-handed with Chandler Hutchison and Tomas Satoransky remaining out due to COVID-19 protocols, it will get some reinforcements.
Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono are expected back after missing seven consecutive games due to COVID exposure. Arcidiacono missed the two previous games as well.
The absences have been particularly challenging on guards Zach LaVine and Coby White. LaVine has averaged 39.8 minutes per game over the last four while White is averaging 38.2.
"The guys have done a great job of battling and competing and fighting," Donovan said. "I don't particularly love the number of minutes Zach and Coby are getting, but we've been dealt with that hand."
Otto Porter Jr. could return for the Bulls after suffering back spasms in last Friday's loss to the Lakers and missing the game against the Clippers.
The Thunder have dropped consecutive games and are 0-5 at home for the first time since they moved to Oklahoma City. The Thunder has forced just 14 turnovers over the last two games, their worst in a two-game stretch since early in the 2016-17 season.
Al Horford figures to return for the Thunder after missing Wednesday's loss to the Lakers for rest on the second end of a back-to-back. Darius Bazley suffered a right ankle sprain in Wednesday's loss and is questionable for the game.
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