NBA Game Preview: Chicago Bulls at Charlotte Hornets

Feb 9, 2022

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Game: Chicago Bulls @ Charlotte Hornets  

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET 

Odds:  Bulls -4, Hornets +4 

Total: 231.5 

Chicago and Charlotte look to end losing streaks when the two teams meet tonight in Charlotte. Just over two weeks ago, the Hornets were six games above .500 and were ranked No. 1 in the NBA in scoring. Since then, Charlotte has lost five straight and fallen to ninth in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 28-27. Part of the problem has been that offense. 

The Hornets still rank second in the NBA in scoring (113.3 ppg), but over their last five games, Charlotte has averaged just 97 points a game. It’s a combination of things for Charlotte including Gordon Hayward being out of the lineup, but primarily it’s the Hornets’ top two scorers – Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball – just not hitting shots. 

Bridges, who averages 19.8 points a game, is scoring just 14.5 over his last four games. It’s the same for Ball who averages 19.5 a game. Over the Hornets’ last four games, Ball is scoring just 14.0 points a game. Hayward, who scores over 16 points a game, remains out as do Cody Martin and Jalen McDaniels.  

The Bulls have lost two straight to Philadelphia (119-108) and Phoenix (127-124). Chicago’s defense has been awful over its last ten games giving up 118 points a game, but that’s understandable as Zach LaVine has been out of the lineup. LaVine returned to the Bulls lineup on Monday, but Chicago lost to the NBA’s best team, the Suns. LaVine had 32 points and teammate DeMar DeRozan added 38. The pair didn’t get much support from the rest of the roster. 

Chicago is currently third in the Eastern Conference standings. They have the same record as fourth-place Cleveland (33-21) and both teams are just 1.5 games out of first place. The Bulls are in a good spot to get back on track as they tend to play well on the road when favored. Chicago is 11-3 straight up this season when they are a road favorite. 

The Hornets are a respectable 9-4 ATS as a home underdog this season, but lately, they have had trouble against the number. Charlotte is 1-5 ATS in its last six games and 0-6 ATS in its last six home games. Over their last ten games, the Hornets are 3-7 ATS. The Bulls are 4-2 ATS in their last six games and they have covered four of the last five against Charlotte. 

While the Hornets have the second-highest scoring team in the NBA, the Bulls are seventh. Chicago comes into tonight having seen the game total go Over in seven straight games. Remember they are allowing 118 points per game. Charlotte is 28th in points allowed per game (114.2), but they have had trouble scoring recently. The Bulls are the third-best Over team in the league (30-22-2 O/U). Each of Charlotte’s last five games has gone Under. When Chicago plays at Charlotte, the total has gone Over in nine straight.