The Houston Rockets (28-25) and Chicago Bulls (42-12) will face off on Monday night inside the United Center in Chicago, with the game tipping off at 8 p.m. ET and televised on NBATV.

Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls  

The Chicago Bulls have not lost back-to-back games since Feb. 5-7, 2011

Houston is coming off a disappointing 104-102 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers as 3.5-point home favorites, as the team has alternated wins and losses over its last six contests.  “I think they outhustled us, especially in the start of that overtime,” commented Rockets center Marcus Camby.  Offensively, all five starters reached double figures in scoring, with point guard Goran Dragic leading the way with 22 points.  Houston is 4-5 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points and the “under” is 5-4 in that situation.

The Rockets are 8-17 overall on the road this season, including a 3-4 mark versus Eastern Conference opponents.  Houston has dropped the last five meetings in its series with Chicago, but the two sides haven’t met since Dec. 4, 2010.  The team will be playing without the services of its starting backcourt once again, as Kyle Lowry (illness) and Kevin Martin (shoulder) continue to miss time.  Rookie forward Chandler Parsons will need to continue performing at a high level, coming off a 14-point performance last night.

Chicago never really had a chance in its 92-78 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder as six-point road underdogs, while the team has gone “under” the total in three consecutive games.  “They really just kicked our butt,” commented Bulls center Joakim Noah.  It was a result that was expected by many due to the franchise being without last year’s Most Valuable Player, as point guard Derrick Rose missed his 10th straight game with a groin injury.  Chicago is 4-4 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points and the “under” is 5-3 in those games.

The Bulls have not lost consecutive games in the regular season since Feb. 5-7, 2011, a span of 85 games.  Chicago has lined bettors pockets in going 35-15-1 ATS following a straight-up loss in its last 51 opportunities.  Fans inside of tonight’s venue will likely see another bounce back performance, as the squad has won the last five meetings in this series.  Rose will certainly be missed, as he averaged 31.5 points and 9.0 assists in the last year’s two meetings.

Bettors will likely back the Bulls due to their 21-8-1 ATS mark versus Southwest opponents, while the Rockets are 1-5 ATS when playing on zero days rest.

Recommendation: Chicago Bulls -8

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