The Oklahoma City Thunder have playoff expectations for the first time in several seasons, and they look to show why in their season opener in Chicago against Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan the Chicago Bulls.
With Chet Holmgren in the fold after missing last season with a foot injury, the Thunder have a dangerous young core centered around All-NBA guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
The Bulls, who are essentially running back last season’s team, are hoping to jump into the playoff picture in the East this season, but it won’t be easy. The team is a slight favorite at home in this matchup, which shows just how high oddsmakers are on the Thunder this season.
Can OKC keep covering the spread for bettors at the crazy rate it did last season?
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Thunder vs. Bulls odds, spread, and total
Thunder vs. Bulls how to watch
- Date: Wednesday, Oct. 25
- Game Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
- Venue: United Center
- How to Watch (TV): Bally Sports Southwest, NBC Sports Chicago, NBA League Pass
- Oklahoma City Thunder Record: 0-0
- Chicago Bulls Record: 0-0
Thunder vs. Bulls injury reports
Oklahoma City Thunder injury report
- Jaylin Williams (out, hamstring)
- Kenrich Williams (out, back)
Chicago Bulls injury report
- Lonzo Ball (out, knee)
Thunder vs. Bulls key players to watch
Oklahoma City Thunder
Chet Holmgren: The No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Holmgren could be a game-changer for the Thunder after missing all of last season. OKC is hoping he can be the anchor for the team’s young core.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: An All-NBA selection this season, can SGA make the leap to an MVP candidate and lead OKC to the playoffs?
Coby White: White is likely going to play big minutes at the point guard spot this season with Lonzo Ball (knee) out for the season. The Bulls need him to take a leap if they want to get back to the playoffs in the East.
Zach LaVine: The former All-Star gave Oklahoma City some trouble last season, averaging 26 points per game across their two meetings. He should be the primary option on offense for the Bulls.
Thunder vs. Bulls prediction and pick
The Thunder is one of my favorite bets tonight, and I explained why in my NBA Best Bets column for BetSided:
The Oklahoma City Thunder are a popular pick to make a leap this season, and I think they’re live to take down a Chicago Bulls team that underachieved last season.
Chicago is running back a very similar roster in the 2023-24 season, and I can’t help but consider an OKC team that was 20-12-3 against the spread as a road dog last season, winning 14 of those games straight up.
These two teams finished with very similar net ratings last season, and the Bulls weren’t nearly as good as favorites (17-17-1 ATS) as Oklahoma City was as an underdog.
With Holmgren in the fold and Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey a year older, the Thunder are poised to make a leap. I think they beat this Chicago team.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.