Chicago surges into injury-riddled Utah
Jimmy Butler has long vexed opponents in a variety of ways. Now he’s also become one of the most feared scorers in the NBA.
The fifth-year small forward leads his Bulls into battle with the Jazz tonight, with a 10:30 p.m. ET tip at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Quin Snyder’s crew odds of -155 to take care of business in Salt Lake City. Chicago, on the other hand, represents a +135 underdog.
Fresh off another explosive outing at Portland, Butler appears poised to inflict similar damage against Utah. The two-time All-Star is averaging 28.6 points over the past five games. More importantly, he has the Bulls (7-4) scaling the Eastern Conference ladder.
Out West, matters aren’t going quite as swimmingly for the Jazz (7-6). Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood and George Hill all missed Monday’s 102-96 loss to Memphis. Fortunately, Snyder’s squad remains exceptional on the defensive end, holding foes to 93.8 points per tilt.
Chicago’s penchant for getting out in transition will surely test Gordon Heyward & Co. Expect the host club to do everything possible to deny Butler touches. Considering the Marquette product’s strong supporting cast, though, it’s only a matter of time before somebody else rises to the occasion.
THURSDAY NBA FREE PICK: BULLS/JAZZ OVER 191 POINTS