The Chicago Bulls (36-33 SU, 29-40 ATS) are desperately clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They can open up some breathing room with a strong performance in their home-and-away series with the New York Knicks (28-43 SU, 37-34 ATS). The second game takes place Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, tipping off at 7:30 PM ET.
Injuries have been a major factor for both teams this year. However, the Bulls are about as healthy right now as they could hope for, and they’ve won three straight to improve to 6-3 SU and ATS in their last nine games. As long as Chicago has both Pau Gasol (22.3 PER) and Jimmy Butler (21.4 PER) available, the Bulls can still be a force during this playoff drive.
The Knicks don’t have much left to play for this season, but they also have no incentive to tank; their 2016 first-round pick went to the Toronto Raptors three years ago in the Andrea Bargnani trade. Carmelo Anthony (20.4 PER) is expected to play for New York after missing Sunday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with a migraine.