The Chicago Bulls are limping along without the services of their two highest scorers and hope to get some of their injured players back when they try to snap a three-game slide against the visiting Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. The Raptors could use an easy mark after blowing a 16-point fourth-quarter lead in Sunday’s 102-101 home loss to the Detroit Pistons.
Bulls All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler (heel) sat out four of the last five games while future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade (wrist, illness) missed two of the last three and role players Nikola Mirotic (back spasms) and Paul Zipser (ankle) are day-to-day as well. The talent drain led Chicago to drop its last three games by an average of 25.7 points, capped by Sunday’s 117-89 loss at Minnesota that finished out a 2-4 road trip. The Raptors are struggling into the All-Star break as well with losses in 10 of the last 14 games to fall from second in the Eastern Conference to fourth. “Yeah, I am starting to get worried, yeah,” All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry told reporters. “It’s not going the way it’s supposed to be going, things aren’t changing, so I’m starting to get worried.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), CSN Chicago
LINE HISTORY: The struggling Raptors opened as 6.5-point road favorites over the depleted Bulls and that number was quickly bet up to 7 immediately after release. The total hit the board at 205.5 and has been steady thus far. Check out the complete line history here.
Raptors – PF P. Patterson (Questionable, knee).
Bulls – SF P. Zipser (Doubtful, ankle), SG D. Wade (Doubtful, wrist), SF J. Butler (Doubtful, heel), PF N. Mirotic (Doubtful, back).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Clippers (-8.6) – Jazz (-3.2) + home court (-3) = Raptors -2.4
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (32-23 SU, 31-23-1 ATS, 32-23 O/U): It was less than a month ago that Toronto was putting pressure on the Cleveland Cavaliers atop the East, but the recent slump and Sunday’s blown lead are pushing the team back and dragging the spirits down. “We can (get back to our previous form) but it has to be quick,” All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan told reporters. “Like I said, 27 more games and that’s going to fly by. We haven’t got much time. When it comes to practice time, we have to be able to take things on the go and run with it.” DeRozan is averaging 29 points in three games since returning from an ankle injury but missed the potential game-winning jumper in the final seconds on Sunday.
ABOUT THE BULLS (26-29 SU, 26-29 ATS, 21-33-1 O/U): Wade fell hard on both wrists in Friday’s 115-97 loss at Phoenix and had X-rays come back negative before sitting out Sunday but is still feeling pain. “It ain’t right,” Wade told reporters of his swollen right wrist prior to Sunday’s loss. “I can’t bend it either way. If I feel like I need an MRI when I get back to (Chicago), then I’ll do that, more so the hand than the wrist, I think.” Butler returned from a three-game absence on Friday and scored 20 points in 30 minutes but was out again on Sunday after feeling pain in the heel again and considers himself day-to-day.
* Raptors are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
* Bulls are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Under is 6-1 in Raptors last 7 road games.
* Over is 8-0 in Bulls last 8 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Over is 8-0 in the last 8 meetings.
* Raptors are 1-10 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 63 percent of Covers users are siding with the home underdog Chicago Bulls and Over is picking up 68 percent of the totals wagers. View full consensus data here.