Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers Preview, Prediction, Picks & Odds -- 11/15/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Where to watch: Spectrum SportsNet, NBC Sports Chicago

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Lakers -1
BetMGM: Lakers -1.5
Caesars: Lakers -1

Season record
Bulls: 9-4
Lakers: 8-6

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Bulls - Lakers preview and analysis


Recent form
Bulls: won three of four; won 100-90 at Clippers on Sunday
Lakers: won three of four; won 114-106 vs. Spurs on Sunday

It must be 1990 all over again because the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls are both relevant in the 21st century.

One might be more than the other at this current state with a certain superstar on the injured list but we’ll still accept the fact that Monday’s game between the Bulls and Lakers should be a fun tilt at Staples Center with both teams playing the second leg of a back-to-back.

Both squads played at Staples Center last night which means we need to give a big shoutout to the arena workings to switch out the hardwood. The Lakers got an 8-point win over the San Antonio Spurs earlier in the day thanks to a dominant 34-point, 15-rebound performance from Anthony Davis in a game the Lakers absolutely needed after Friday’s debacle against Minnesota.

It was one of the Lakers’ better shooting performances on Sunday, making nearly 52 percent of their shots while going 15-of-31 from 3-point range. Rising star Talen Horton-Tucker scored 17 points in his season debut, while Carmelo Anthony added 15 points 

"I wanted to come out and dominate the game and do whatever I could to get the team going," Davis said. "That's the type of energy you need from our bench, our star players, our role players."

That’s exactly what Davis did and he needs to do more of for as long as LeBron James is out. That abdomen injury is going to keep James out again Monday, but signs during individual workouts per coach Frank Vogel say he’s looking good and on track to return soon.

The fact the Lakers are 8-6 with LeBron on the bench for the majority of this start is a great sign. The partnership between Davis and Russell Westbrook has been an up-and-down start, and will need more time once LeBron comes back to fully gel. But to have a winning record right now is a promising notion.

What’s more promising is the Bulls winning nine of 13 to start the season with the chance to end this California road trip on a high note. After getting run out of Chase Center by 26 on Friday against the Golden State Warriors, the Bulls bounced back in the Staples Center nightcap with a 10-point victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

DeMar DeRozan was fantastic once again for the Bulls with a game-high 35 points on 12 of 16 shooting (10 of 11 from the free-throw line) to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. That offset a rough shooting night for Zach LaVine (11 of 27) despite 29 points and eight rebounds.

What made the difference was the Chicago defense holding the Clippers to below 36 percent shooting. Paul George scored 27 points but needed 25 shots to get there (despite going a perfect 11 of 11 from the charity stripe). Reggie Jackson, guarded primarily by Lonzo Ball, was held to 4 of 17 shooting.

"We battled and fought," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. "Everybody who went in there helped. It was a game where everyone went small. So yeah, I was happy with the way we played defense."

Prediction


This is going to need to be another game where Davis dominates like he did Sunday. Westbrook is going to have his hands full with Ball (this matchup may change as it goes if Ball needs to play up a couple of spots in the lineup). The Lakers need the secondary scoring of Horton-Tucker and Anthony to carry the load in that regard. Who guards DeRozan the way he’s scoring the ball is the other key here. If DeRozan matches Davis point for point, it’s going to be a tough one for the Lakers to close out. I think LaVine is the difference and the Bulls get a close win. Bulls by 4

Betting trends


The Bulls are 2-2 ATS this season as a road dog.

The Bulls are 5-1 ATS this season when scoring 105 points or less.

The Lakers are 3-7 ATS this season as a home favorite.

Projected starting lineup


Bulls:
PG: Lonzo Ball
SG: Zach LaVine
SF:
Javonte Green
PF:
DeMar DeRozan
C:
Tony Bradley

Lakers:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Avery Bradley
SF:
Talen Horton-Tucker
PF:
Carmelo Anthony
C:
Anthony Davis

Key injuries


Bulls: C Nikola Vucevic (COVID, out), PF Patrick Williams (wrist, out)

Lakers: SF LeBron James (abdomen, out)

Statistical leaders


Bulls:
Points: DeMar DeRozan -- 26.1
Rebounds: Nikola Vucevic -- 10.9
Assists: Lonzo Ball -- 4.3

Lakers:
Points: Anthony Davis -- 24.5
Rebounds: Anthony Davis -- 11.3
Assists: Russell Westbrook -- 8.4

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert basketball picks today. And if you enjoyed this Chicago Bulls - Los Angeles Lakers prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NBA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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