The Chicago Bulls (33-21) meet the Charlotte Hornets (28-27) Wednesday at Spectrum Center for a 7:30 p.m. ET tip-off (on ESPN). Below, we look at the Bulls at Hornets odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Chicago enters off back-to-back home losses to the Sixers (119-108 Sunday) and the Suns (127-124 Monday). Over the past two weeks, the Bulls 4-4 straight up (SU) and 5-3 against the spread (ATS).
Charlotte has lost seven of its past nine games (2-7 ATS), including five straight with the most recent being a 116-101 beatdown administered by the Raptors Monday.
The Bulls crushed the Hornets 133-119 in Chicago Nov. 29 as 5.5-point home favorites in their first meeting this season. Chicago has won and covered three straight versus Charlotte.
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Bulls at Hornets odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 2:20 p.m. ET.
Money line: Bulls -130 (bet $130 to win $100) | Hornets +105 (bet $100 to win $105)
Against the spread (ATS): Bulls -1.5 (-115) | Hornets +1.5 (-107)
Over/Under (O/U): 235.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)
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Bulls at Hornets key injuries
PG Lonzo Ball (knee) out
SG Alex Caruso (wrist) out
SG Ayo Dosunmu (concussion) out
SF Gordon Hayward (ankle) out
SF Cody Martin (ankle) out
PF Jalen McDaniel (ankle) out
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Bulls at Hornets odds, lines, picks and predictions
Bulls 121, Hornets 107
GIMME the BULLS (-130) because the Hornets have bigger injury concerns in this matchup and Charlotte’s offense has been terrible lately.
The Hornets will be without three wings, which is a problem when facing Bulls’ wings Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.
McDaniels and Martin are Charlotte’s first-and third-best players by adjusted on/off net rating, according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).
LaVine, DeRozan and Bulls C Nikola Vucevic got whatever they wanted in Chicago’s victory over Charlotte earlier this season.
Those three former and/or current All-Stars scored a combined 83 points on 59.7% shooting. I don’t see how the Hornets match up better with the Bulls this time around.
Lastly, Charlotte’s offense has significantly regressed this month. The Hornets are 29th in net rating and 28th in both assist-to-turnover ratio and effective field-goal shooting in January.
BET BULLS (-130) for 1 unit.
Against the spread
Chicago’s money line (ML) is only 15 cents on the dollar more expensive than the Bulls -1.5 (-115), so let’s not fuss with the points even though Chicago should certainly cover this number.
LEAN to the UNDER 235.5 (-107) for a one-third unit if at all, because I prefer Chicago’s ML rather than the total.
However, the look-ahead total for Bulls-Hornets was set at 230.5 and my instinct is to fade such dramatic line movement. According to Pregame.com, roughly 80% of the money is on the Over even at this new total.
Also, Charlotte has gone Under the total in five straight games and two of the three referees assigned to this game have officiated more Overs.
Again, my favorite play is the Bulls SU, but I “LEAN” to the UNDER 235.5 (-107).
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