Game: Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Bucks -2.5, Bulls +2.5
What’s surprising in the Bucks-Bulls first-round playoff series is that Milwaukee’s high-scoring offense is averaging just 101.5 points a game. Somehow, the Chicago Bulls have found some defense and that plus DeMar DeRozan’s 41 points helped the Bulls even their series at 1-1 as Chicago won Game 2, 114-110. It was just the second win against Milwaukee in the last 19 games for the Bulls. Could it happen again in Game 3 now that the series shifts back to Chicago?
Anything is possible, but Chicago is going to have to keep playing solid defense. It is something they struggled with for most of the latter part of the regular season. At the very beginning of April for example, the Bulls allowed 130 points to the Clippers and then gave up 127 in consecutive games against Miami and these very same Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks average over 115 points per game and over their last 10 regular-season games they averaged more than 120 a game.
Milwaukee will find the going a little tougher tonight. They will not have Khris Middleton who suffered a sprained knee in Game 2. That might not be too big of an issue for the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging over 30 points a game and 17 rebounds so far in the series. If Chicago doesn’t find a way to slow him down, they will be in trouble regardless of Middleton’s status.
The Bucks are now 4-2 SU in their last six games but just 2-4 ATS. Milwaukee is 4-1 ATS in its last five games on the road and 11-1 ATS in the last 12 games on the road in Chicago. With their win in Game 2, the Bulls are now 2-5 SU in their last five games, but Chicago has covered the spread in each of its last three in a row.
Both Game 1 and Game 2 went Under the total. That is the result of Milwaukee averaging just 101.5 points per game. Tonight’s total is now seven points less than the total for Game 2. With that in mind, four of the last five Bulls home games have gone Over the total. Overall, the Bulls trend Under though.
The total has gone Under in 13 of the Bulls’ last 20 games. For the season, Chicago’s O/U record is 40-42-2. Now, the Bulls do trend Over at home where the O/U record is 22-18-1. Milwaukee’s road O/U record is 22-19. Six of the Bucks’ last eight game totals have resulted in the Over. At some point, one would expect Milwaukee’s offense to start clicking as it did at the end of the regular season.
Tonight’s 2.5-point spread marks just the second time in the last 19 games between these two teams that the Bucks have been favored by fewer than 4.5 points.