The Chicago Bulls started rebuilding their team last year, finishing 13th in the NBA Eastern Conference and bottom of the Central Division with a 27-55 record (17-24 at home, 10-31 on the road). They delivered 102.9 points per game, allowing 110.0 to their opponents which was the second-worst record in the East. The Bulls have decided to build around some young guns such as Lauri Markkanen, Jabari Parker, and Zach LaVine, adding a couple of first-round picks from the 2018 NBA Draft, while Fred Hoiberg will enter his fourth season as a Bulls’ head coach. The bookies consider Chicago as a huge underdog to make the NBA Playoffs in the 2018-19 season as one of the weakest teams in the Eastern Conference, so let’s take a look at the latest futures and props on Bulls with odds from BetDSI Sportsbook along with all important news.
Chicago Bulls Futures Odds
Win Total Over/Under at 28.5: Over -130; Under +110
To Win the Central Division at +6000
To Win the Eastern Conference at +7500
To Win the NBA Championship at +50000
To Make NBA Playoffs: YES +450, NO -700 (Bet365 Sportsbook)
Chicago Bulls Player Movement
Draft: Wendell Carter Jr. (No. 7 Pick), Chandler Hutchison (No. 22 Pick)
Added: Antonius Cleveland (signed off waivers), Jabari Parker (free agency, Milwaukee Bucks)
Lost: Paul Zipser (waived), Sean Kilpatrick (waived), Julyan Stone (waived), Jerian Grant (traded to Orlando Magic), Noah Vonleh (signed with New York Knicks)
The Bulls used their seventh pick to draft the promising big man Wendell Carter Jr. from Duke where he averaged 13.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 37 games as a freshman. As a Blue Devil, Wendell Carter Jr. was a big factor with his hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and many experts believe he could make an immediate impact in his rookie NBA season. Wendell is a great athlete with excellent coordination, but he will need to improve at the defensive end or his minutes will be limited by foul trouble. Has a potential to become a good stopper inside the paint if he continues to develop his awareness.
Chandler Hutchison was selected as a 22nd pick overall by the Bulls after spending four years at Boise State where he had a tremendous senior year with 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, leading his team in all three categories. Hutchinson is an athletic wing who can attack the rim, but also can be efficient with his jump shooting. Has a great lateral quickness that should help him to adapt his defensive game to NBA standards, and after four years in college Chandler Hutchinson should be mentally ready for the next big step.
The most important Bulls’ addition this summer was acquiring the 23-year old forward Jabari Parker on a $40 million two-year contract. The second overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft had a lot of injury problems during his first four years in the league, playing just 183 games for the Milwaukee Bucks who decided to let him leave. Parker played 31 games last season, starting on three occasions, and averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists, but Jabari should improve these numbers with the Bulls, especially if he stays healthy throughout the season. Fred Hoiberg will use him mostly as a small forward, but in some situations, Parker could be a great stretch four.
Chicago Bulls 2018-19 Roster
The Bulls possess a lot of young talents in the roster, as only two big men Omer Asik and Robin Lopez are older than 29, while the vast majority are guys younger than 25. The 21-year old seven-footer Lauri Markkanen should be a great offensive weapon after having a wonderful rookie season with 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 29.7 minutes per game, shooting 43.4% from the field and 36.2% beyond the arc. The 21-year old Finn is a solid inside scorer, but his jump shooting is impressive for a big man. Last year, he took 5.9 3-pointers per game and the fans can expect more threes in the 2018-19 season from Lauri who also needs to improve his defense and stay out of foul trouble.
The 23-year old combo guard Zach LaVine decided to extend his contract with the Bulls and he could be the first scoring option after playing just 24 games last year due to an injury. Zach had some decent numbers, averaging 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while making 38.3% from the field and 34.1% of his 3-pointers. His high energy and agility will be a huge boost for the Bulls’ starting lineup, but LaVine, who’s well-known for his ability to jump out of the gym, will need to improve his jump shooting and defensive stopping to fulfill the bright potential. In Minnesota, Zach was rarely a go-to-guy, while in Chicago, he’s expected to be a star.
The 24-year old playmaker Kris Dunn should be an important part of the Bulls’ play this season, as he had a good 2017-18 season, averaging 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in 29.3 minutes per game. Dunn could be a hidden gem acquired from the Timberwolves in a trade for Jimmy Butler, and if he continues to improve like he did in his second NBA season, the Bulls will get an elite point guard very soon. The guard Justin Holiday should have an important role after starting in 72 games last year, recording 12.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.1 assists, as his versatility was valuable for the Bulls. Robin Lopez will be a starting center, and the seven-footer had a nice 2017-18 season with 11.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Lopez will probably split his minutes with the rookie Wendell Carter Jr. and should be a great defensive mentor for the new guy in the league.
Players Under Contract:
Kris Dunn (PG), Cameron Payne (PG), Ryan Arcidiacono (PG)
Zach LaVine (PG-SG), Justin Holiday (SG), Antonio Blakeney (SG)
Jabari Parker (SF-PF), Denzel Valentine (SF), Chandler Hutchison (SF), Bobby Portis (PF), Lauri Markkanen (PF)
Robin Lopez (C), Omer Asik (C), Wendell Carter Jr. (C), Cristiano Felicio (C)
Win Total Prediction and Betting Picks
With Lauri Markkanen, Jabari Parker, and Zach LaVine all in the starting five, the Chicago Bulls will be a joy to watch. However, according to 5Dimes Sportsbook, the Bulls are the biggest favorite to finish bottom of the Central Division, while the bookies set the line on the win total at 28.5 games. It is hard to say will the Bulls surpass the last season’s record, but they should have a better team now after adding Jabari Parker. If they avoid injury problems, the Bulls could reach the 30-win mark. The lack of experience will be a big issue in close games, and the Bulls will be huge underdogs in duels against the Western Conference teams. On the other hand, Chicago will try to earn victories in its’ conference where the competition looks easier by far.
The odds on the Chicago Bulls to make the NBA Playoffs are set at +450, according to Bet365 Sportsbook, as it’s hard to imagine they can outstrip eight teams in the East, even in the sweetest dreams. The Bulls should be thankful if their best players avoid serious injuries, so they can develop and rise as a team. They play six out of the first ten games at home, so the bettors should pay attention to Bulls at the start of the 2018-19 NBA season.
The Pick: Under 28.5 (+110)
Prediction: 13th in the Eastern Conference, 5th in the Central Division