Trail Blazers vs. Bulls NBA expert prediction and odds for Monday, March 18 (Bet on Chicago)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Chicago Bulls-Portland Trail Blazers matchup in the NBA on Monday night.
Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan.
Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan. / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls are fighting for play-in tournament position in the Eastern Conference, and they have a winnable matchup on Monday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Portland’s roster has been inconsistent on a night-to-night basis due to injuries, and it’s led to the team winning just 19 games at this point in the season. 

Speaking of injuries, the Bulls could be down guard Coby White (hip) once again on Monday night. He is listed as doubtful for this matchup.

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Still, Chicago is favored at home, a spot that it would like to be better in against the spread this season. Let’s take a look at the odds and my best bet for this matchup on March 18: 

Trail Blazers vs. Bulls odds, spread and total

Trail Blazers vs. Bulls how to watch

  • Date: Monday, March 18
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: United Center
  • How to watch (TV): NBC Sports Chicago, Root Sports Northwest
  • Blazers record: 19-48
  • Bulls record: 33-35

Trail Blazers vs. Bulls injury reports

Blazers injury report

  • Malcolm Brogdon – out
  • Jerami Grant – doubtful
  • Shaedon Sharpe – out
  • Matisse Thybulle – questionable
  • Robert Williams III – out

Bulls injury report 

  • Lonzo Ball – out
  • Alex Caruso – questionable
  • Zach LaVine – out
  • Julian Phillips – out
  • Coby White – doubtful
  • Patrick Williams – out

Trail Blazers vs. Bulls key players to watch

Portland Trail Blazers

Deandre Ayton: The former No. 1 overall pick has been on fire as of late, averaging 24.5 points, 14.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in eight appearances since the All-Star break. This is a good matchup for Ayton against Nikola Vucevic, who isn’t known for his defense. Ayton has 20 or more points in five straight games. 

Chicago Bulls

DeMar DeRozan: With Coby White dealing with a hip injury, the offensive burden falls on DeRozan, who scored 46 points in an overtime win against Indiana but has just 34 points in his last two games. DeMar needed to take just seven shots in the blowout win over Washington, but he may need to be more aggressive against a Portland team that has been frisky on the road. 

Trail Blazers vs. Bulls prediction and pick

Can the Bulls make quick work of yet another inferior opponent on Monday night?

Chicago blew out the Washington Wizards by 29 in its last game – even without White – and the team will look to turn in a similar outing against the shorthanded Blazers. 

Portland has been frisky as a road underdog (17-15 against the spread), but the team is still losing those games by an average margin of 10.2 points per game. 

I have a hard time trusting the Blazers with so many players out, and the Bulls may be able to slow down Ayton by playing bigger lineups centered around Vucevic and Andre Drummond. 

Losing White is a big blow for the Bulls, who have struggled as a home favorites (8-10 ATS), but the team still has outplayed Portland all season (Portland is just 28th in net rating).

I’d prefer the Bulls as a potentially moneyline piece in a two-pick parlay, but I’ll take them to cover here as well. Portland is banged up without Grant and Brogdon, leaving the team with some unproven options on the wing to score in this game. 

Chicago, who is in the playoff hunt, should take care of business at home. 

Pick: Bulls -8 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.