The Chicago Bulls (0-1) visit Fiserv Forum Wednesday to take on the Milwaukee Bucks (1-0). Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Bulls vs. Bucks odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
The Bucks, who won the 4 regular-season games against Chicago, beat the Bulls 93-86 in Sunday’s Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. It was a brutal showing for both sides as the Bucks shot 40.5% from the field and 26.3% from three while the Bulls shot 32.3% from the field and just 18.9% from deep.
Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for Milwaukee scoring 27. C Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 24 points, on 27 shots.
The Bucks were 39-44 against the spread (ATS) this season, but they failed to cover in Game 1 as 10.5-point favorites. Milwaukee is 14-24 ATS as a home favorite, the second-worst covering rate in the NBA.
The Bulls are 43-39-1 ATS this season. They are 8-15 as a road underdog, the fifth-worst covering rate in the NBA.
Bulls at Bucks odds 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 10:39 a.m. ET.
Money line: Bulls +400 (bet $100 to win $400) | Bucks -550 (bet $550 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Bulls +9.5 (-115) | Bucks -9.5 (-107)
Over/Under (O/U): 225.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)
Bulls at Bucks key injuries
F Bobby Portis (calf) probable
Bulls at Bucks picks and predictions
Bucks 118, Bulls 112
Betting a -550 money line is never good, and similarly, the Bucks are the better side which makes banking on the upset also not a wise play. Pass all around.
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Against the spread
LEAN to the BULLS +9.5 (-115).
Beating teams by double digits in the playoffs is not easy, especially when that team has 3 capable scorers.
The Bulls were able to keep the game within single digits and shot under 40% from the field and sub-20% from deep. Those percentages aren’t going to stay that low for the entirety of the series.
The Bulls ranked fourth in 3-point shooting percentage this season. The Bucks ranked 19th in opponents’ 3-point shooting. Chicago is going to start knocking down open looks.
Chicago also takes care of the ball while Milwaukee doesn’t force turnovers. The Bulls were 6th in turnover rate this season while the Bucks’ opponents ranked 27th.
Given the improved shooting likely from the Bulls, the competitiveness of Game 1, and lack of turnovers, I like Chicago to keep things close in Game 2.
BET the OVER 225.5 (-108).
Both these teams ranked in the top 10 in offensive rating and outside the top 10 in defensive rating. With several superstars on both sides of the court, I expect a much higher-scoring battle.
For the Bucks, it was their turnovers. They had 21 yet rank 10th in the league in turnover rate. The Bulls rank in the bottom 10 in forcing turnovers as well.
Both teams have proven stars that are going to rebound and play better than they did in Game 1. Expect an improvement to the mean, and the Over 225.5 (-108) to be a strong play with that in mind.
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