Nikola Jokic shooting jumper

Nov 18, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball against Philadelphia 76ers center Andre Drummond (1) in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Bulls visit the Nuggets on Friday, November 19th
  • Denver is a 4-point home favorite
  • Find the odds, preview, and prediction below

The Chicago Bulls wrap up their five-game road trip on Friday, November 19th when they take on Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the Mile High City. Tip-off is scheduled for 9pm ET.

Chicago is coming off a disappointing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, while Denver fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first game of a back-to-back on Thursday night.

While it’s clear the Bulls are a much different team this season, the Nuggets have absolutely dominated them in recent memory. In fact, Jokic and Co. are riding a nine-game winning streak against Chi-Town that dates back to February of 2016.

Bulls vs Nuggets Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total Points
Chicago Bulls +4 (-110) +144 OFF
Denver Nuggets -4 (-110) -174 OFF

Odds as of November 18th at Fanduel.

Bulls Need to Respond

Billy Donovan’s squad has looked very good through the first 15 games, going 10-5 and proving to be one of the dark horse teams in the entire NBA. But after beating both the Lakers and Clippers at the Staples Center, the Bulls completely blew a victory in Portland. Chicago went into the break with a 63-48 lead but proceeded to take their foot off the gas pedal in the second half.

The Blazers outscored them 64-44 across the final two periods, with Damian Lillard hitting numerous clutch shots down the stretch. Although the Bulls’ defense got lackadaisical, their star trio played well. DeMar DeRozan dropped 22 points, while Zach LaVine poured in a team-high 30 and went 7-for-12 from downtown. Lonzo Ball also had 17 points and four assists.

Chicago did continue to shoot the ball efficiently just as they did in LA, draining 45% of their three-point attempts. In fact, that’s been one of their biggest strengths this season, sitting second in the Association with a 37.5% mark from beyond the arc.

Locking it down defensively hasn’t been a problem for this team. It was just one of those nights where the opponent managed to get some shots to go down late while capitalizing off the Bulls’ mistakes. Donovan’s group needs to respond with authority in Denver and will be poised to clean it up. However, they’re just 4-3 as an ATS underdog this season.

Denver Finding Their Way

The Nuggets started off the campaign poorly, but Michael Malone’s team improved, going on a five-game winning run. Denver has now dropped two straight though, losing to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday then to the Sixers at home on Thursday.

There have been some positives and negatives for this group so far. The Nuggets are shooting an impressive 46% from the field, which is top-five in the NBA, but they’re downright awful from downtown, sinking a mere 31.2% of their threes. Jamal Murray’s absence is being severely felt as well. Jokic is averaging 26.1 points per night but after the reigning MVP, there isn’t much offensive production outside of Will Barton.

That was basically the storyline against Philly. While the Joker showed out for 30, the rest of the rotation was essentially non-existent. Barton collected 19 points and Monte Morris had 11 but aside from the backcourt duo, every other player on the roster finished in single digits.

There wasn’t exactly one specific area where the Nuggets struggled, it was just simply a poor offensive performance in all aspects, putting only 89 points on the board. The 76ers did outscore them 52-38 in the paint though, which certainly played a key part in the end result. The squad also shot the ball under 40% from the field and three-point land.

The Nuggets may be a slight favorite against Chicago, but they’re just 3-4 as an ATS favorite. On top of that, Denver lost both games of their first back-to-back in late October to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz, respectively.

Bulls vs Nuggets Prediction

Chicago knows they let a win slip right out of their hands on Wednesday and I expect them to bounce back here. The way DeRozan and LaVine are playing right now will be extremely hard to stop and even though Denver is 7-2 at home, two straight losses are definitely concerning. The Bulls will tighten it up defensively and finish up their road trip on a high note.

Pick: Chicago Bulls (+144)

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Quinn Allen

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