Early in the season as teams solidify who they are, finding constants can be extra valuable, and that information in both games mentioned below leads to a bet on the total.
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Bulls vs. Pacers Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at time of publication
Bulls vs. Pacers Best Bets
Bulls-Pacers o226 (-110, DraftKings)
The Indiana Pacers have picked up where they left off last season by attempting to run as much as possible and make their opponents play their game. In the very small sample of the season, the Pacers are fourth in pace and they are in transition more than anyone.
The Bulls on the other hand have not played fast, likely holding this total down but have not been near as good defensively as last season. Chicago finished fifth in defense last year but is currently 25th with two of their three games being against the uninspiring offenses of the Raptors and Pistons.
Letting opponents get out and run has been a problem for the Bulls, ranking in the bottom of third of preventing transition opportunities and they are 28th in transition defense per Cleaning the Glass. The Pacers are number two in transition opportunities and tops in transition offense.
Last season in the three games these teams played with Tyrese Haliburton in the lineup, it went over this total each time with an average total of 236.7. The single game without Haliburton his 226.
A more rested Pacers team should dictate terms to a Bulls team that is trying to find its identity and with their bottom-third defense, should allow the Bulls to get theirs to stay in the game and keep primary rotations in tact.
Risk: 1.1 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit.
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Magic vs. Lakers Betting Odds
Magic vs. Lakers Best Bets
Magic vs. Lakers u221.5 (-115, BetMGM)
The Lakers head home after a high-scoring overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings, to face an up-and-coming Orlando Magic team that has two days of rest and wants to grind the game down.
In admittedly not enough of a sample size, the Magic are playing at the slowest pace in the NBA so far and their games are averaging a total of 207.5. Orlando has plenty of size and defensive ability to be the third-best defense so far and to help mitigate one of the advantages the Lakers can have. The ability to play big.
What Orlando lacks in top-line talent in the backcourt, is made up in front-court depth. That heavy of a swing in the roster lends to an under on both sides with the need for a more dynamic initiator next to Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero. If the Lakers are unable to find their stroke against better defensive teams than the Kings, then they staring at this under as well.
Risk: 1.15 units on BetMGM to win 1 unit.
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