Bettors everywhere were recently thrown for a whirl by the Chicago Bulls. Viewed as one of the Cleveland Cavaliers' primary rivals in the Eastern Conference, they flamed out in a big way during the 2015-16 season. Now they are among the most uncertain betting plays in the NBA, caught in that weird, potentially damaging space between rebuilding and trying to compete for a title now. Little is expected to change leading into next season.
The Bulls, after all, have only one cornerstone in Jimmy Butler. And many people expect them to shop him on the trade market, assuming management commits to a full on rebuild that prioritizes picks and prospects and cap space over a max contract star like Butler.
But trading Butler doesn't really give the Bulls a certain direction. It would be a commitment to one direction, but his departure would only be the beginning.
That's because Chicago has its work cut out over the next few months, irrespective of what happens to Butler.
The Bulls have a ton of free agents to make decisions on, Derrick Rose needs assistance at the point guard position, since he's no longer a star, and the team has to find a way to add other personnel that fits the bill for the offense head coach Fred Hoiberg has been unable to successfully implement to this point.
Left alone, the Bulls are a fringe playoff squad that is worth your daily betting attention and perhaps a futures bet on win totals or playoff status. But that's it.
Failing an ability to sire obvious change, Chicago cannot be considered a sound Eastern Conference title or NBA Finals investment.
Chicago Bulls Betting Lines Today
Steal a glance at the betting lines for the Chicago Bulls' next game here. All the start times, moneylines, spreads, overs and unders are below.
Come back to this page early and often once the lines are published, before you make your bet. The odds for indvidual games don't usually change in the NBA, but they can. And if they do, you'll want to know before visiting any sportsbooks.
Sportsbettors interested in winning information take note: This look at the Chicago Bulls' entire schedule and past scores is mainly for you.
By taking stock of the team's previous performances, you will know when to bet on them and when to wager your money against them. Imperative questions on this front include, but are not limited to:
Are the Bulls juggernauts at home? Have they covered spreads on the road? What has been more valuable to date, over or under plays?
Do they struggle against established defenses? How about potent offenses? What is their record against Eastern Conference teams? Are they holding their own against Western Conference teams?
How have they performed against moneylines as underdogs? Are they riding a cold or hot streak? Have they already played their next opponent this season? If so, what was the result?
Find the answers to these questions as the season progresses while keeping track of any potential changes. They give you a wealth of insider information that can be used to make money betting on or against the Bulls.
Chicago Bulls Standings Right Now
If you are a midseason futures gambler, this look at the Chicago Bulls' current standings is most definitely for you.
Can standings help you on single game plays? Absolutely. But only if you are betting moneylines. That's when records are most helpful.
These standings are otherwise most helpful when determining whether the Bulls are worth midseason future gambles.
Are they leading their division? Where do they rank in the Eastern Conference? Does their record stack up to those of other NBA title contenders?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you will know to consider the Bulls an option on the divisional, conference or NBA championship futures front.
How To Win At Chicago Bulls Betting
Do not expect the Chicago Bulls' roster to look all that similar to last season's team next year. After missing the playoffs, they are in need of substantial turnover, regardless of whether they decide to rebuild or simply retool.
Free agents Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah are absolutely flight risks. Gasol, in fact, is good as gone. Many expect Noah to be back, but as an injury prone center who doesn't shoot or make jumpers consistently, he is only someone you re-sign if you plan to avoid a real rebuild altogether.
Like most other NBA teams, the Bulls will have cap space with which to work. They will be hard pressed to carve out max space to with Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Mike Dunleavy and Nikola Mirotic all on the books, but it's possible.
Signing a stretch power forward will be the Bulls' top priority—someone like Ryan Anderson, if they can afford him. Adding a power forward who can shoot threes immediately transforms their offense and makes it more likely you can continue using the Bulls as serious Eastern Conference and NBA Finals futures options.
Bobby Portis flashed an ability to shoot threes at the 4 spot as a rookie, but he isn't yet ready for full time duty on a team that wants to contend. And both Doug McDermott and Mirotic are wild cards on the defensive front.
Should the Bulls secure some perimeter defensive upgrades, more offensive firepower at the 4 and an NBA caliber backup point guard to play behind Rose, you'll know they are back in the big futures business. If not, the previous advice stands: They are daily plays and over/under win total options, and nothing more.
The Chicago Bulls will most likely be a betting mystery to start next season.
If they add a ton of talent via free agency and/or trades, re-establishing themselves as major Eastern Conference players, that's a different story. But it's more probable that they enter next season, having substantially changed the roster, without forging a clear betting identity.
That makes the beginning of the year a feeling out process. You will want to see how they fare against overs and unders, how they perform against spreads, and whether they are strong moneyline plays as underdogs.
Now, if you are interested in making major headway on the Bulls' betting front to start the year, consider onset investments in the over.
The Bulls regressed defensively last year, and they won't be much better, if they are better at all, leading into next season. And their offense, though terrible in Fred Hoiberg's first year on the sidelines, should improve. After all, it was so bad there is no place to except up. But also, assuming Jimmy Butler is healthy and on the roster, organic improvement is inevitable, too.
Chicago, then, will most likely be a team that gives up a ton of points while scoring a healthy amount of its own. You will most definitely want to see if this approach checks out—or if it lasts throughout the season—but it's the best possible guideline to follow until next season's Bulls, whatever they look like, play through a larger, more telling sample size.