Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trailblazers Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Chicago Bulls (6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (10-5 SU, 9-6 ATS), 10:00 p.m. EST, Monday, November 23, 2009, Rose Garden, Portland, Ore.
by Ryno of

Point Spread: Bulls +8.5/Trail Blazers -8.5
Over/Under: 181.5

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A couple of young stars face off Monday in Portland, as Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls take on Brandon Roy and the Trail Blazers.

The Bulls are currently in the midst of a tough road trip. After defeating the Kings in Sacramento last Tuesday, the Bulls lost two straight to the Lakers and the Nuggets. The road trip doesn’t get much easier when they play at Portland. Both of their last two losses were by double digits.

Luol Deng is leading the Bulls in scoring with 16.8 points per game. He is second the team in rebounding with 8.5 per game. A healthy Deng has really given the Bulls a boost, especially with Rose not playing up to expectations so far this season. Rose is averaging 15.2 points and 5.3 assists per game. He is starting to improve during this road trip. He scored 20 points against the Lakers and 28 against the Nuggets. But the Bulls are 0-3 this season when Rose scores at least 20 points. They are 3-0 when Rose gets at least seven assists. John Salmons has been a solid contributor in the backcourt with 13.3 points per game. Joakim Noah is having an All-Star-caliber season for the Bulls, scoring 11.9 points and grabbing 12.3 rebounds per game. Kirk Hinrich, Brad Miller and Taj Gibson are all key players for the Bulls as well. Tyrus Thomas is currently injured and will not play against the Trail Blazers.

Roy leads the Blazers in scoring with 19.9 points per game. He’s also averaging 4.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. The Blazers are 5-0 when Roy scores between 20 and 29 points. The Blazers have a solid down low duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden. The two of them are combining for 24.9 points and 15.6 rebounds per game. A healthy Oden could be the key for the Blazers possibly making a deep run in the playoffs this season. Andre Miller, who was acquired by the Blazers in the offseason to be the starting point guard, has been steady with 10.5 points and 5.0 assists per game. The Blazers have a pretty deep roster with players like Rudy Fernandez, Steve Blake, Martell Webster and Joel Przybilla. On Saturday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Webster started and had his best game of the season with 21 points and 13 rebounds. He was 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Webster was starting for Travis Outlaw, who is currently injured.

These teams match up pretty evenly down low with Miller and Noah against Oden and Aldridge. Both duos have been very solid this season but neither team relies on their big men. Deng will have a strength advantage on Webster and should be able to post him up down low for some easy points. On the other end, Deng should be able to keep up with Webster, although Webster has an athleticism edge on Deng. Roy and Salmons should be an interesting matchup, but of course Roy has the advantage. Roy is certainly quicker and more athletic than Salmons. Rose and Miller will be a nice matchup of youth against experience, but Rose is much quicker and more athletic than Miller.


The Blazers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games and 11-5 ATS in their last 16 home games. The total has gone under in five of Portland’s last six games. The Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last five games and 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games. The total has gone under in five of Chicago’s last six games.

Ryno’s Pick: These teams match up very well with each other. It could come down to if Rose or Roy has the better game, but Roy has been much better than Rose so far this season. Rose has been scoring more the last two games, but the Bulls are better when he doesn’t score as much but instead dishes out more assists. The Bulls will be anxious to end their two-game losing streak and get back over .500 for the season. With such even matchups, it should be a close game that comes down to the wire. With all of the under trends for both teams, the under seems to be a good play. But with the Bulls getting eight and a half points, they could easily win this game and definitely should at least keep it close. Take the Bulls +8.5.