It’s win or go home, literally, for the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls. As the No. 9 and No. 10 teams in the East, a win will give them an opportunity to extend their season for one more game, a loss will end it. With stakes that high, both teams will be playing desperately as they try to get a shot a claiming the No. 8 spot in the East playoffs.
The Bulls enter this matchup with the best road record in the league since March 1, going 8-2. A small sample size, but it’s a stark improvement from the 10-21 road record the team held prior to that span of games. For the Raptors, they’ll be hoping that their disruptive, versatile defense will be enough to pull out a win against a Bulls team that seems to be peaking at the right moment.
In preparation for the game, here’s everything you need to know about this matchup.
(9) Toronto Raptors vs. (10) Chicago Bulls
- When: Wednesday, April 12 | 7 p.m. ET
- Where: Scotiabank Arena — Toronto, Canada
- TV: ESPN Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: Raptors -5; O/U 214.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Raptors: In Toronto’s first two games against the Bulls this season, Fred VanVleet averaged 28.5 points, while shooting 46% from the floor and 48% from 3-point range. In the third matchup, VanVleet only managed three points on 1-of-11 from the field and 1-9 from deep. The Raptors still won that game, but they’ll need VanVleet from the first two meetings if they want to keep a surging Chicago team from pulling off an upset.
Bulls: Though last season was far more successful for the Bulls, they’ve managed to pull things together towards the end of the regular season. Part of that has been because of a resurgent post-All-star performance from Zach LaVine. Since then LaVine is averaging 27 points, while shooting 53% from the field and 39% from 3-point range. Couple that with Nikola Vucevic, who ranks third in the league this season in doubles-doubles, and fifth in the league in rebounds and Chicago has a dangerous recipe to come out of this matchup with a win.
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Both of these teams are strong defensive units, but I trust the offensive weapons on Chicago’s roster more to get a win. I think it will be a close contest, but I envision a big performance from LaVine and clutch buckets from DeMar DeRozan down the stretch to seal it for the Bulls. The pick: Bulls +5