Monday Total Bet: Offense Sings the Blues in Chicago

Two of the most ignored franchises at the moment in the NBA are facing off in Chicago. While they are not thought of for very different reasons, that can mean fewer people care to look at the lines for this game, and that leaves a betting opportunity.

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Jazz VS. Bulls Betting Odds

Jazz Bulls
Spread +4.5 -4
Moneyline +158 -170
Total o222.5 u223

*Lines accurate at time of publication

Jazz vs. Bulls Best Bets

Jazz-Bulls u223 (-110, FanDuel)

On the surface, this game becomes a battle of whose pace can win out. Utah is ninth in pace and Chicago is 29th. This factor takes on extra importance when the Jazz have had higher totals in their games but have not been efficient on offense, just fast.

The Jazz are 18th in offensive rating on Cleaning the Glass, which is low for a team whose games have averaged 230.3 points. Being 26th defensively, Utah has allowed the third-fastest defensive pace per Dunks and Threes. So the question becomes do the Bulls take advantage of the opportunities for quick offense?

The Bulls have the second-slowest offensive pace and have been in transition at the fourth-lowest frequency this season. Even when given some opportunity to run, the Bulls have not done that often. With having a bad defense, Chicago has forced teams to play in the halfcourt, allowing the 23rd fastest offensive pace. The Bulls just break down in rotation late in the clock. Utah is only 20th in offense in the halfcourt, so even with what Chicago allows, Utah is not the most efficient.

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Even with a bad defense so far, the Jazz have been able to prevent long midrange jumpers, allowing the second-fewest of them but the Bulls shoot the most of them in the league. The difference between the Bulls and the team with the second-most midrange jumpers per game is the same as the difference between second and 11th. What Utah’s defense allows, is not what the Bulls prefer to do, draining their efficiency even further.

If the Bulls are able to drag the Jazz down into the slog they prefer, this game has every opportunity to stay under the total. Even if Utah is able to speed Chicago up a little, the lack of efficiency from both teams leaves room for this to still go under.

Risk: 1.1 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.

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