NBA Game Preview: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls

Feb 16, 2023

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Game: Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Odds: Bucks -7.5, Bulls +7.5

Total: 230

The Milwaukee Bucks (40-17 SU, 31-23-3 ATS) will play the Chicago Bulls at the United Center (26-32, 28-28-2) tonight looking to win its 12th straight game. The Bucks enter tonight on an 11-game run, taking on a Bulls team that has lost five straight. To make matters look even bleaker for the Bulls, Milwaukee has won 16 of its previous 20 games against Chicago. That’s one of the big reasons why the Bucks opened as a 7-point favorite on the road.

The Bucks extended their winning streak on Tuesday by defeating the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics 131-125 in overtime. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a monstrous double-double (36 points, 13 rebounds), while Jrue Holiday tied a career-best with 40 points to lead the Bucks to win over the Celtics.

Antetokounmpo has been on fire despite having some right knee pain. He is still listed on the Bucks injury report and he is probable for tonight. Through six games in February, the former two-time NBA MVP is averaging 37 points, which is his highest-scoring pace in a month this season. In his last 10 games, Antetokounmpo has scored 30 points or more in nine of them, including two 50-point games.

The Bulls’ loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, 117-113, was their fifth straight defeat. Zach LaVine led all scorers with 35 points and added 11 rebounds in the contest, but Buddy Hield led Indiana with 27 points, one of six Pacers’ players to reach double figures in the win.

The absence of DeMar DeRozan (thigh) for the second straight game could harm the already troubled Chicago offense. DeRozan is listed as questionable for tonight. This month, the Bulls have averaged just 106.4 points per game, with LaVine (25.3 points per game) being the only player to average over 20 points per game.

The Bucks are now establishing themselves as the best team in the NBA, and there is no reason to believe that their winning streak will come to an end against a Bulls team that is in decline. Antetokounmpo is playing his best basketball of the season despite a bothersome injury, and he is receiving a lot of assistance from players like Holiday and Brook Lopez. Milwaukee is scoring nearly five points more than it usually does per game in February, averaging 120.2. The Bucks are averaging 114.9 points per game for the season.

Milwaukee has been strong against the number as of late. The Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last five games and 5-0 SU in their last five on the road. The Bulls have been the exact opposite. In addition to going 0-5 SU in their last five games, Chicago is 0-5 ATS.

The Under is the trend for both of these teams. The total has gone Under in five of the Bucks’ last seven games and five of the last six Bulls’ games. The Under is 4-1 in the Bulls’ last five home games and 11-4 in the last 15 Bucks-Bulls games.

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