The Chicago Bulls (36-33 SU, 29-40 ATS) are desperately clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They can open up some breathing room with a strong performance in their home-and-away series with the New York Knicks (28-43 SU, 37-34 ATS). The second game takes place Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, tipping off at 7:30 PM ET.
Injuries have been a major factor for both teams this year. However, the Bulls are about as healthy right now as they could hope for, and they've won three straight to improve to 6-3 SU and ATS in their last nine games. As long as Chicago has both Pau Gasol (22.3 PER) and Jimmy Butler (21.4 PER) available, the Bulls can still be a force during this playoff drive.
The Knicks don't have much left to play for this season, but they also have no incentive to tank; their 2016 first-round pick went to the Toronto Raptors three years ago in the Andrea Bargnani trade. Carmelo Anthony (20.4 PER) is expected to play for New York after missing Sunday's game against the Sacramento Kings with a migraine.
NBA : Anthony Returns as Knicks Meet Bulls
The Chicago Bulls (36-33 SU, 29-40 ATS) will play their second game against the New York Knicks (28-43 SU, 37-34 ATS) when they meet this Thursday at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM ET.
Carmelo Anthony (20.4 PER) is expected to play for the Knicks on Thursday; the team's leading scorer sat out Sunday against the Sacramento Kings with a migraine. New York is winless in eight games (3-5 ATS) without Anthony this year, but he was present for both games against Chicago, which the teams split home and away.