The Bulls aren’t getting more than 30 wins this season.
No, really, go ahead and bet. Because while the offseason moves have garnered the attention of sports analyst around the country, the bookies aren’t out there edging this team near the playoffs quite yet. Check it out:
Bulls' win total for 2019-2020, as set by @betonline_ag: 30.5.
These oddsmakers were lower, and closer, than others last season at 24.5. Injury-plagued Bulls finished 22-60.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 15, 2019
Last season, the Bulls finished with an underachieving record of 22-60, in large part due to the injury bug that bit key players like Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.
But with those young, budding stars making their way back onto the court at full health – plus the additions of Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky and Coby White – it sure feels like things should be significantly improved around here, right?
Well, BetOnline technically does have the Bulls showing some improvement this season, but not by much. Right now the 2019-20 win total is set at 30.5. If you look at last year’s Eastern Conference standings, that would mean the Bulls are hanging out right around the 12th seed … nowhere near a real shot at the playoffs.
And as the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson points out above, they had the Bulls at 24.5 heading into last season, which was on the lower end of the estimates … and ultimately pretty close to reality. Which isn’t exactly a good thing.
Regardless, I still sit here thinking you could be winning some easy money on this bet. I’m still unsure if the Bulls will fight their way into the playoffs, but I think a battle for the 8th seed isn’t too “hot” of a take. The Bulls have a much-improved roster with a healthy, young, versatile core that should be able to make some noise.
And if the Pistons and Magic were able to pull off the 7/8 seed last year (sorry, not trying to throw shade … (well, except for you, Detriot)), I think the Bulls could be in a similar position this season – especially if LaVine or Markkanen begin to put up All-Star-caliber numbers. The Atlanta Hawks will definitely look a little better, and you can’t rule out the Miami Heat now that they have Jimmy Butler, but this Bulls team feels like a squad that can hit the 40 win mark if all goes well. Even with bumps in the road, the group is a lot deeper than previous seasons.
But for what it’s worth, BetOnline is not alone. The Action Network gave us a look at other sites expected win totals, and they all hover right around 30.5, as well.
PointsBet opened up with the Bulls a 27.5 before lifting them up to 30.5. Draftkings follows suit with the same projection, while FanDuel has Chicago with one less win at 29.5. Ouch.
If I were a betting man (I won $20 on FanDuel once … Does that count?), I would put money on the over. I can see a world where the Bulls underachieve again and suffer injuries that keep them under the 30 win-mark, but with a normal line of health, this team feels like an above 30-win group. After all, plenty of people are beginning to throw them in the playoff conversation, and you probably need right around 40 wins to secure your spot.
Jacob Goldstein, a data-scientist for BBall Index, has Chicago currently in the playoffs with only at 38.7 win total.
Updated 2019-20 NBA win projections after the LA madness: pic.twitter.com/dHVHgWI47d
— Jacob Goldstein (@JacobEGoldstein) July 6, 2019
All of these numbers are subject to change, so don’t hang your hat on anything just yet. If you are feeling high on this Bulls team though, wouldn’t be a bad time to go throw some money down on the over.