Are The Chicago Bulls Snakebitten in the NBA Playoffs?

Are The Chicago Bulls Snakebitten in the NBA Playoffs?
By Bill Ordine
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

It doesn’t seem all that long ago, at least to some folks with good memories, that the Chicago Bulls’ dominance was a given.

But, in truth, those days literally belong to another century, and they do little good for Bulls backers at Illinois sports betting apps now.

In the 21st century NBA, the Bulls’ overall futility and playoff disappointments are almost as epic as their successes were when Michael Jordan was winning six championship rings and creating a gazillion-dollar industry based on athletic footwear.

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Only Nine Winning Seasons After Jordan

In the 25 seasons since Jordan’s second departure from Chicago after the 1997-98 season, the Bulls have had just nine winning seasons. They have advanced past the Eastern Conference first round just four times. And they have made it to the conference finals just once, in the 2010-11 season.

Taking into account three categories – first-round exits; higher-seed first-round exits, and higher-seed second-round exits – has looked at the NBA teams who have struggled the most in the playoffs since the 2010-11 season. Using a formula that combines the three categories above, we determined the Top 10 teams that have been snakebitten when reaching the NBA postseason.

In that analysis of snakebitten NBA postseason teams since 2010-11, the Bulls were ranked No. 3 – and not in a good way.

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Out in First Round More Often Than Not

Since the 2010-11 season, in those years when the Bulls made the playoffs (seven times, not including the current season), they bowed out in the first round 57.1% of the time. They suffered first-round exits at the hands of lower-seeded teams twice. And they were ousted in the second round as the higher seed once.

Only the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers ranked “ahead” of the Bulls on our list.

The better news is that Chicago gets a chance to improve on its postseason record immediately. With a 38-41 record in the regular season so far, the Bulls have clinched a play-in position.

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Most Snakebitten Teams Since 2010-11 Season

RankTeam1st-Round Exit %Higher-SeededFirst-Round ExitsHigher-SeededSecond-Round Exits
1🏀 LA Clippers44%31
2🏀 Portland Trail Blazers66.7%20
3🏀 Chicago Bulls57.1%20
4🏀 Brooklyn Nets71.4%11
5🏀 Denver Nuggets57.1%11
6🏀 Memphis Grizzlies55.6%11
7🏀 Orlando Magic100%10
8🏀 OKC Thunder44%11
T-9🏀 New York Knicks25%11
T-9🏀 Indiana Pacers66.710

Chicago Bulls NBA Title Odds

At BetMGM Illinois Sportsbook, Chicago has +25000 odds to win the NBA title as pf Thursday morning, and +12500 to win the Eastern Conference. At Caesars Illinois Sportsbook, the Bulls are a far juicier futures ticket at +75000 to win the NBA title, and +25000 to win the conference.

But since the Bulls already know they must survive the play-in round just to reach the eight-team East playoff field, any shot is a longshot.

So, we’ll see.

Maybe if they all wear Air Jordans?

In any event, get the best Illinois sportsbook promos before the NBA playoffs begin right here at IllinoisBet.



Bill Ordine covers state gambling issues for He was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years.

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