NBA Play-In Tournament 2023: Bulls vs. Raptors odds, predictions and best bets
The NBA Play-In Tournament has provided us with a lot of excitement since its implementation, and we're looking forward to the event's matchup between the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, April 12th. The winner of this game will get a chance to play for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Jonathan Von Tobel will be previewing every NBA series that these NBA Playoffs have to offer, so make sure you check out what he has to say for all of these intriguing matchups. However, we're also doing some head-to-head previews, while continuing to give you your usual dose of NBA best bets and player props. With that said, we have a lot in store for what are some of the most exciting weeks of the year. Keep reading as we dive into this battle, which features two teams that badly want the slightest taste of playoff basketball.
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Bulls at Raptors betting odds
Raptors -5.5 / Total: 214.5
For updated odds, check out our VSiN NBA Odds page!
Bulls at Raptors Side Analysis
Since the start of 2020, the home team is 9-2 both straight-up and against the spread in meetings between the Bulls and Raptors. That makes it hard not to believe Toronto will have a significant edge when these two teams meet on Wednesday, and the home-court advantage will only be amped up with this being a postseason game. The Raptors have one of the best fanbases in the league, and they’ll be fully behind this group as it tries to grab the eighth seed.
Toronto’s wing defense is also as good as it gets and that’s going to play a major role here. The Bulls create most of their offense through the duo of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, but the Raptors can throw Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby on those two. They won’t completely shut those Chicago players down, but making life difficult on them will go a long way. And Jakob Poeltl can do the same on Nikola Vucevic.
The Raptors also have a significant offensive edge in the backcourt, with Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. being a much more reliable duo than guys like Patrick Beverley and Alex Caruso. Both of those Bulls players should play big minutes in this game, with LaVine and DeRozan attempting to play up a bit in size. However, that will be a problem on its own, as the Raptors aren’t going to be fazed by facing small-ball lineups. They have some of the most switchable forwards in basketball, so they’ll rarely be in a position in which a defender isn’t comfortable defending somebody on the perimeter.
Keep an eye on Barnes' offense in this game. Chicago will likely play far off him near the 3-point line, as forcing him to shoot is a popular way to try and defend this Toronto team. However, Barnes is used to that type of coverage, and he won’t hesitate to attack the rim and try to create for himself and others. And on the off chance he does happen to bury a triple or two, this game has the potential to get out of hand. Barnes also won't hesitate to use his size in the mid-post, if the Bulls end up trying to stick a smaller guard on him.
Overall, Toronto's size could just be overwhelming in this game. The Raptors sized up a little by acquiring Poeltl at the deadline, so they abandoned their strategy of having a rotation that only consists of lengthy wings. However, this group's size is still a strength and it should be hard for Chicago to overcome.
Bulls at Raptors Total Analysis
The Bulls were fifth in the league in defensive rating this season, and the Raptors were tied for 10th. These are two teams that play good defense on a nightly basis, and neither one of them plays at a fast pace on offense. Chicago was 18th in the league in pace of play during the regular season, while Toronto was down at 25th. With that in mind, why would this turn into a high-scoring game? It would take some uncharacteristically hot shooting from one or both groups in order for the over to hit.
The under has actually hit in each of the last four meetings between these two teams, and they combined to score only 202 points in their most recent matchup. That was a 104-98 win for the Raptors that was more of a stylistic fit for the early 2000s. Don’t be surprised if this one ends up being the same.
Bulls at Raptors Best Bet
This is one of the tougher games to call when it comes to the spread. Toronto is a better team and has all the tools to handle Chicago rather easily. But the Raptors have been hard to trust all season, and the total seems like the way to go in this one. With that in mind, we’d suggest backing the under here. These teams both want to play a low-scoring game, so why not bet it to be one?
Pick: Under 214.5 (-110)
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