Game: Chicago Bulls @ Atlanta Hawks
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Bulls -4.5, Hawks +4.5
It’s an interesting matchup in Atlanta tonight when the East’s second-place team, Chicago, comes to town to take on the Hawks. Atlanta is currently 10th in the Eastern Conference standings and is just a game ahead of the Wizards in the race for a spot in the play-in tournament.
Chicago enters tonight’s game having lost two straight. The losses were to two of the better teams in the NBA. The Bulls dropped a 112-99 decision to the team ahead of them, Miami, in the Eastern Conference race. Chicago also felt the wrath of Ja Morant and the Grizzlies in a 116-110 loss to Memphis. Both of those losses were at home at the United Center.
The concern for the Bulls tonight will be playing on the road. Chicago is 24-9 at the United Center this season, but the Bulls are only 15-14 on the road this season. The Bulls offense scores three fewer points per game away from home.
Another issue could be DeMar DeRozan who proved that he is, after all, human. After a string of 10 straight 30-plus point games, DeRozan came back to earth on Monday night when he scored just 18 points in the loss to Miami. It was the first time since Jan. 14 that DeRozan had scored fewer than 20 points in a game.
Of greater concern to the Bulls should be Atlanta’s Trae Young. The Hawks point guard is coming off a 31-point effort against Boston, which is arguably the best defense in the NBA. The Celtics were able to match up with Young and he still scored 31 points. The Bulls do not have that luxury. With Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso still out indefinitely, the Bulls defense has suffered recently.
Despite their defensive issues, Chicago is 6-3 ATS in its last nine games and 11-5 ATS in the last 16 against the Hawks. That includes a 6-2 ATS mark when playing on the road at Atlanta. The Hawks have covered in three of their last five games and they do have a 17-14 ATS record at home this season.
Both offenses rank in the top ten in the NBA. The Bulls are eighth scoring 112.3 points per game while Atlanta is right behind them in ninth averaging 112.2 per game. Both teams shoot extremely well from behind the three-point arc. The Hawks are second in the league shooting 37.4 percent and the Bulls are third at 37.3.
With those powerful offenses, both teams trend Over for the season. The Bulls O/U record is 32-28-2 and the Hawks record is 33-28. The total has gone Over in each of the last five Atlanta games. The Bulls, ironically, have seen the total go Under in five of their last six games.
Atlanta is 2-1 SU and ATS as a home underdog this year. In those three games, the Over has cashed all three times. The average total in those three games is 240.