The Denver Nuggets got off to a slow start on Monday night, losing 112-101 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in their first preseason contest of the 2022-23 NBA season. Unfortunately, it looks like the latest Nuggets odds aren’t too optimistic about the team heading into their October 7th matchup against the Chicago Bulls, as sportsbooks project Denver to fall against Zach LaVine and company on Friday night.
While the Chicago Bulls are recovering from their own preseason loss to the New Orleans Pelicans and still feeling the effect of Lonzo Ball’s slow-to-heal left knee. They still boast one of the more impressive lineups in basketball highlighted by their All-Star trio of LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic, not to mention exciting young talents like Patrick Williams, Ayo Dosunmu, and Coby White.
As a result, it would unwise for Michael Malone and his squad to overlook Chi-Town, especially in a game in which they’re home favorites. The Bulls have one of the deepest benches in the NBA and explosiveness all over the court.
Odds are the Denver Nuggets will use their starters sparingly, and instead rely on some of their younger players to take over. Against OKC, Denver rolled out a 15-man rotation in which everybody played between 13 and 20 minutes, and arguably the most impressive performances came from players like Zeke Nnaji, Jeff Green, and Bruce Brown.
Will the Nuggets be able to bounce back from their loss on Monday night and even out to 1-1 in the preseason? Or will Chicago come out of the gates firing and make up for their own loss earlier this week?
Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets Odds, Spread, Over/Under
The latest odds from FanDuel Sportsbook have Chicago as -3.5 favorites against the spread, with the team -120 (bet $120 to win $100) to cover. The Bulls are -165 on the moneyline, while Denver checks in at +125 (bet $100 to win $125). The over/under for the game is set at 220.5.
Nuggets Projected Starting Lineup Tonight
PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Michael Porter Jr.
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Zeke Nnaji
IR: Out – Nikola Jokic
While head coach Michael Malone has shown his willingness to experiment with different lineups, the starting five for Denver feels set in stone for the time being. Obviously, the big news for this game is that Nikola Jokic didn’t make the trip to Chicago and will be out with a wrist injury. As a result, expect to see more minutes from Zeke Nnaji and DeAndre Jordan, but Nnaji should get the starting nod given how well he played just a few days ago.
Nuggets Injury Report
As previously mentioned, Nikola Jokic has been nursing a right wrist injury over the last few days and the Nuggets feel it’s unnecessary to risk it in a one-off preseason game. As such, he won’t be playing tonight but the rest of the squad appears primed and ready to go.
Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction
The Oklahoma City Thunder have some nice young pieces to build around but they’re not the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have far more experience and high-level talent spread across all positions on the court. So, the Denver Nuggets are going to be faced with a much greater challenge tonight, particularly with the loss of Nikola Jokic.
The Bulls scored 125 points as a team against the Pelicans on Tuesday night and saw solid contributions from all of their starters. Obviously, it’s never easy predicting how a preseason game will turn out, but given that Denver will be without their best player and that Chicago is eager to notch home their first win of the preseason. This one feels like the Bulls’ game to lose.
Bulls 115, Nuggets 104
What channel is the Denver Nuggets game on?
Friday’s game will be broadcast at 6:00 p.m. MT or 7:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago for local Chicagoans.
Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets Live Stream
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Nuggets Next Game and Schedule
Denver will play the Suns at home just a few short days from now on Monday, October 10, before capping off their preseason against the Clippers on Wednesday and the Warriors next Friday on the road. The opening game of the regular season will take place on Wednesday, October 19 against their division foe Utah Jazz.
Oct. 10 vs. Phoenix
Oct. 12 @ Los Angeles
Oct. 14 @ Golden State
Gambling odds and information courtesy of FanDuel. Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change. Displayed odds current as of Friday at 12:00 p.m. MT.