Hornets vs. Bulls Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Both the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets have two games left and both teams fighting to get the best possible seed. For the Bulls it is a potential No. 5 seed and the Hornets are aiming for No. 8.
The Bulls have had their way in this matchup so far this season as they won 133-119 in their first game and 121-109 in their last game. The Hornets are having a great season, but the veteran leadership on the Bulls seems to be too much for this young Hornets team to handle. Will that change tonight?
Let’s take a look at both sides to find some betting value.
Young Hornets Closing Season Strong
The Hornets took care of the Orlando Magic rather easily Thursday night and have actually won nine of their last 13 games. They love to push the tempo as they rank third in both transition points and points scored in the paint this season.
Gordon Hayward is the only player who is considered questionable for the Hornets. He played on April 2 for the first time since getting hurt nearly two months ago. Hayward has also missed the last two games, so keep an eye on his status. He is another weapon who is averaging over 15 points per game.
One of the best players during this 13-game stretch has been Miles Bridges. During that time he is averaging 22.7 points per game while shooting 55.1% from the field.
LaMelo Ball has been very inconsistent this season, but is still averaging career-high’s across the board. He has taken a leap in his second-year and has become a legit triple-double threat every time he touches the floor. In the two games against the Bulls, Ball is averaging 25.5 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds with four made 3-pointers per game.
The Bulls may have a better record, but their defense has been slipping this season. They rank 21st in defensive rating, which is rare for a team that is 45-35 this season. The Hornets should be able to get this pace to their liking, I’m just not sure they have enough talent to keep up with the Bulls yet again.
Can the Bulls Get Back on Track?
The Bulls are leaking oil down the stretch as they have lost three-straight home games. They host the Hornets tonight as slight home favorites in their last home game of the regular season. The Bulls are in the playoffs, but have a slim chance of moving out of the sixth spot in the East.
Those last three losses were by an average of 21.5 points per game, but they were against the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston Celtics. The Hornets present a little easier challenge as they have allowed 115.1 points per game, which ranks third-most in the league. The Hornets still rank third in the league in pace this season.
Lonzo Ball has been ruled out for the foreseeable future, but as far as tonight goes, Alex Caruso is questionable, while Zach LaVine is probable. Make sure to monitor the news on these two players and in general since the Bulls are pretty much locked into their playoff spot.
The main story of the Bulls season has been the emergence of DeMar DeRozan. In his first season with the Bulls, DeRozan is averaging career-high 28 points per game. He is shooting 50.4% from the field and a career-high 35.5% from behind the arc. DeRozan has had his way against the Hornets this season averaging 32 points per game while shooting 64.1% from the field!
Nikola Vucevic has also torched the Hornets this season as well, which should be no surprise as they allow 48.1 points per game in the paint and rank 29th in rebounding percentage. In the two games that Vucevic has played against the Hornets, he is averaging a double-double with 24 points, 15 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game while shooting a ridiculous 65.6% from the field.
The Bulls should have no problem exploiting the Hornets defense in this matchup. Make sure everyone is in the lineup, but the Bulls are in a great spot tonight. Even with their recent three-game home losing streak, they are 27-13 at home this season. The spread is low, but the spot is fantastic for the Bulls.
The Bulls are 38-9 on the moneyline when favored and 32-14-1 against the spread when looking at the trends of this matchup. They are also 26-15 against the spread when playing at home. The Bulls struggle against the top teams in the Eastern Conference, but take care of the average to below average teams.
This is the best Hornets team since the 2015-16 season, but they are still only 41-39 on the season and have lost both games against the Bulls this season by double digits. The Hornets as a team are on the rise and making the playoffs in the second-year with a cornerstone point guard is a great achievement in itself, but the Bulls have the veterans and there is too much at stake for them.
It didn’t work in their most recent three games, but I’m going back to the Bulls at home with a close spread betting them to cover. I would feel comfortable taking this line up to 3.5 points as well. Just make sure everyone is playing.
Pick: Bulls -2.5 (-110)