Sixers vs Bulls: TV Schedule, betting info & predictions

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Montrezl Harrell reacts after a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Sixers have been doing well over the past month or so, going 11-3 in their last 14 games, and coming off a 129-126 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. They’ll face off against the 10th-placed Bulls on Friday in hopes of keeping things rolling.

Sixers vs Bulls game info

Who: Chicago Bulls (17-21) @ Philadelphia 76ers (23-14)

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia PA.

When: 7:00 pm EST

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Sixers vs Bulls betting info

Spread: Sixers -4.5 | Bulls +4.5
Moneyline: Sixers -180 | Bulls +4.5
Total: O/U 231

For the Sixers

The Sixers will be without All-Star Center Joel Embiid for the second game in a row as the center is dealing with some soreness in his foot. While it doesn’t sound like a major issue, for a player such as Embiid, as big as he is and with his injury history, the Sixers need to be cautious with their franchise player.

In his absence on Wednesday, reserve Montrezl Harrell stepped up and played 28 minutes, giving the Sixers 19 points that they surely needed.

James Harden has been back to his old self of late. Maybe not prime Harden but on the season, he’s averaging 22.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 10.8 assists per game. Tyrese Maxey has returned from his month-long injury absence and is getting back into the swing of things. The Sixers will need everyone to play as they did against the Pacers if they’re going to beat the Bulls.

For the Bulls

The Bulls have been a disappointment this season, but injuries have hit hard. They’re without guard Lonzo Ball for the season, while Alex Caruso (ankle) and Javonte green (knee) are questionable for the game tonight.

What the Bulls do have is DeMar DeRozan, Zach Lavine, and Nikola Vukevic. DeRozan is averaging 26.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game while Lavine is at 22.4/4.3/4.3 for the same line. Vukevic, while not as “dominating” as Embiid, is still quite serviceable and he’s a big body for teams to go against. at 6’10” and 260 lbs.

What to look for

As the Sixers are playing at a very high level, the same problems are haunting them. Embiid is again out with some sort of foot injury. Harden and Maxey have missed extended time. PJ Tucker has had a knee procedure and is battling a hand injury. That’s four of the starting five on the team.

Against the Pacers, Harden played 43 minutes. Probably not the best idea, since he is only a few weeks removed from missing a whole month. The Sixers need to find a way to achieve victory without burning out their starting five, especially if a playoff run is to happen.

The Bulls? They have other issues. The team has not been anywhere near where they expected this season and it doesn’t seem to be turning around. Despite the win over the Nets, they’re still only 7-7 over their last 14 games.

If the Bulls get a complete game out of their stars and a high level of support from their bench, they can easily beat the Sixers.

Montrezl Harrell will be the key. (Have you ever heard that before?) If Harrell has a game like his last one, the Sixers will win the game. If he doesn’t get the minutes and PJ Tucker is in there, then Sixers will lose. We’ll have to wait and see how Rivers handles this one.

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AP Photo/Matt Slocum