There’s reason to feel Bullish about Chicago
January 20, 2018 8:02 AM
by Mark Mayer
VIP NBA Basketball's Dirty Dozen | The worst NBA teams against the spread coupled with bonehead decisions.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third slam dunk in our 2018 NBA edition of the Dirty Dozen, which emphasizes the very worst in the Association over the past week from a betting perspective.)
After a 3-20 straight up start Chicago fans wanted “The Mayor” Fred Hoiberg to shut down his government. But now the Bulls coach has taxed his team less and the results are showing.
Chicago has been a different bunch since Dec. 8, the night they began a season high 7-game winning streak. Currently the Bulls are on a 4-0 run against the spread including a strong 7-point loss to the world champion Golden State Warriors.
Why the improvement? Well like the Knicks, a 7-footer has transformed this team into a force to be reckoned with instead of a punching bag. Lauri Markkanen out of the University of Arizona was the key acquisition in the big trade with Minnesota that sent Jimmy Butler to the T’Wolves.
Markkanen was a first-round draft pick in 2017 and is playing like one. He’s averaging 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds a game, seeing more minutes and hitting more 3-pointers. And Zach LaVine is doing more than winning dunk contests, scoring at a 12.3 clip in just 19.7 minutes of action.
At 17-28, there’s still lots of improvement to be made but it’s a whole lot better than 3-20. And that 27-17-1 ATS mark is second best in the Association.
So maybe Hoiberg can get a two-term run in Chicagoland. Time will tell. And now for this week’s 12 worst cover teams.