- The Bulls and Grizzlies meet on MLK Day
- Chicago has lost three in a row, while Memphis continues to stay hot
- Find the odds, preview, and prediction below
The slumping Chicago Bulls will be looking to break out of their three-game losing streak on MLK Day as they hit the road to take on the surging Memphis Grizzlies, who just saw their 11-game winning streak end. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 PM EST at FedExForum.
A shorthanded Chicago squad lost a nail biter to the Boston Celtics on Saturday, 114-112. Memphis meanwhile, fell to Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks by 27 points, but Ja Morant and Co. have been playing at an extremely high level.
This is the first meeting between these two teams in 2021-22, but the Grizzlies won two in a row against the Bulls last season.
Bulls vs Grizzlies Odds
|Chicago Bulls||+7.5 (-108)||+260||O 222.5 (-112)|
|Memphis Grizzlies||-7.5 (-112)||-320||U 222.5 (-108)|
Odds as of January 17th at FanDuel.
Memphis is a 6-point home favorite here, which is no surprise given their current state. They’ve also 16-9 at FedExForum.
Another Tough Task for Depleted Bulls
Despite still sitting at the top of the East with a 27-14 record, the Bulls have had no shortage of doubters this season, who believe they’re simply just a good story rather than a legitimate contender.
Well, lately, Chicago is playing right into that narrative. The Nets and Warriors blew them out by a whopping 68 points combined and in the process, Billy Donovan’s squad lost one of their most important pieces in Zach LaVine to a knee sprain. On top of that, Lonzo Ball is battling a similar injury and will be sidelined on Monday, while Alex Caruso also remains out with a foot problem.
The Bulls did show a lot better against Boston though. Nikola Vucevic balled out for a team-high 27 points and DeMar DeRozan dropped 23 as well. It was a pleasant surprise to see Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu step up and deliver too, collecting 40 points in the backcourt.
Chicago was bullied inside, however, getting outscored and outrebounded by a ridiculous margin. But, they shot the ball efficiently (51% overall) and took a lot better care of the basketball. It simply came down to their inability to close, missing a couple of crucial shots down the stretch. Donovan’s group will need to bring that same intensity in Memphis and be a lot more aggressive in the paint.
Grizzlies Making Noise
Memphis is undoubtedly the talk of the NBA right now after notching 11 wins in a row, a franchise record. That puts them at 30-15 on the season, sitting in third place in the West.
The entire rotation has been doing its part, led by Ja Morant. The surefire All-Star is averaging 24.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.8 dimes this season, but his cold night on Friday certainly played a factor in the Grizzlies finally losing a game.
Taylor Jenkins’ team went into the half with a 55-50 lead after shooting 46% from the field. But, Memphis fell flat on their faces in the final two periods, draining just 30% of their shots and getting outscored 62-30 by the Mavs, who went on a 33-9 run towards the end of the third quarter to close out the contest with authority.
keep rocking wit us. see you Monday. pic.twitter.com/wzvack0rjK
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) January 15, 2022
Morant posted just 19 points in the contest, while sharpshooter Desmond Bane had 16. The rest of the rotation was extremely quiet, with only one other player in Kyle Anderson finishing in double-figures. The Grizz were bound to drop a game eventually and Dallas has been playing very well. But, Memphis is still full of confidence after beating several very good clubs in their wild run, including the Nets, Suns, and Warriors.
Bulls vs Grizzlies Prediction
I do like how the Bulls played the other night in Beantown, but you can’t take the Grizzlies for granted. This team thrives on home court and after such a lopsided loss, they’re going to bounce back and take advantage of Chicago, who are simply missing too many integral pieces at the moment. Take Memphis to cover the spread.
- Pick: Grizzlies -6 (-110)