Bulls vs. Bucks Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Milwaukee Bucks took a commanding 3-1 lead on the Chicago Bulls with a 119-95 win at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday afternoon. Now the defending champions come back home to host the Bulls at Fiserv Forum in what could be a closeout game before taking on the Boston Celtics in Eastern Conference semifinals.
Oddsmakers aren’t giving the Bulls much a of a chance and significantly adjusted the spread after Zach LaVine was placed in COVID protocols for Game 5.
So where is the betting value? Let’s analyze both sides and find out!
Chicago’s Offense Has Hit Rock Bottom
The Bulls have struggled to score efficiently throughout much of their first round playoff series against the Bucks. They rank last among playoff teams with a 94.2 Offensive Rating — 10 points below the second-worst team.
Game 2 was clearly an outlier performance. In that game, the Bulls scored 114 points with 85 points coming from DeMar Derozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic on a combined. Outside of that game, the Bucks have mostly kept this trio in check.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, things won’t get any better as LaVine is expected to miss Game 5 after entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The Bulls were already facing an uphill battle against a Championship caliber Bucks defense but they’ll now have to do it without one of their best players.
As I’ve noted throughout this series, the Bulls haven’t capitalized on the Bucks’ weaknesses, specifically defending the 3-point line. While the Bucks allow the second-highest frequency of 3-point field goals (41.8%), this season the Bulls took the lowest percentage of 3-point field goals (30.4%) and throughout this series they’re shooting just 28% from behind the arc.
In addition, the Bulls have struggled to score at the rim where they’ve shot 42.3%, 44.4% and 56.5% in Games 1, 3, and 4. With this team unable to score from the most efficient areas of the floor and not generating many free throw attempts, it’s tough to imagine a high offensive output from the Bulls. Given their struggles on the defensive end of the floor stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, it seems this team is all but drawing dead.
Bucks Rolling Despite Key Absence
When the Bucks lost Khris Middleton to an MCL sprain in Game 2, the Bulls appeared live to have a chance to knock off the defending champions. The Bucks ended those thoughts immediately with back-to-back blowout wins in Games 3 and 4.
The Bucks continue to lock down the Bulls defensively in this series; even if the Bucks posted an average offense they’d still win these games. Unfortunately for the Bulls, the Bucks don’t have an average offense. In Game 4, the Bucks scored 119 points points on 1.18 points per possession and they’ve shown no signs of slowing down.
Antetokounmpo remains unstoppable in this series, averaging 27.5 points, 14.5 rebounds and seven assists. He’s coming off a Game 4 in which he scored 32 points on 50% shooting along with 17 rebounds and seven assists. The Bucks’ role players have stepped up as well with Jrue Holiday adding 26 points, seven assists and two rebounds while Grayson Allen dropped 27 points off the bench. Even without Middleton, the cupboard for the Bucks is far from bare.
As I’ve said before throughout our series previews, the Bucks continue to outshoot the Bulls from deep in this series and they did so again in Game 4 where they made 17-of-33 attempts from behind the arc. With the Bucks creating a math problem for the Bulls and slowing down their offense, they should be well on their way to moving on to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Bucks should be able to get whatever they want in this matchup, but this total is way too high and it has been for this entire series.
The opening total for Game 1 was 230 and despite adjusting down to 224.5, 222 and 219 and Games 2, 3 and 4, they can’t adjust enough for how poor this Bulls offense has performed.
I’m going to play the under 218, but I’ll also play Bulls’ first half under at 49.5.
Pick: Under 218 (-110) | Bulls 1st Half Team Total Under 49.5 (-110)