Chicago surges into injury-riddled Utah

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.

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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.

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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

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