The New Orleans Pelicans (12-25) go head-to-head with the Chicago Bulls (13-24) at the Smoothie King Center. The game will air on NBC Sports Chicago at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.
Chicago Bulls vs. New Orleans Pelicans Free Prediction
The Bulls failed to cover as 7.5-point underdogs in their 118-110 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in their last matchup. The total points for the game (228) came in over the O/U total of 217.5. Dallas’ 0.167 free throw rate was their largest strength over Chicago, who had a mark of 0.092. The Mavericks’ mark was below their season average of 0.208, while the Bulls’ was below their season average of 0.186. Lauri Markkanen was Chicago’s leading scorer with 26 points on 10-for-18 shooting.
In the Pelicans’ last game, they dropped a tough one to the Utah Jazz, 128-126, but did cover as 4-point underdogs. The total points for the game (254) finished well over the O/U total of 221.5. Utah’s effective field goal percentage was their biggest strength over New Orleans. The Jazz had a rate of 0.600 (above their season average of 0.538), while the Pelicans posted a mark of 0.548. With 35 points on 12-for-26 shooting, Brandon Ingram was the game’s high scorer.
After the Pelicans won both games against the Bulls last season, these teams will battle for the first time this year. In the last contest, New Orleans won 125-120. The Pelicans had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (34.1 vs. 22.0) and had a better free throw rate (0.235 vs. 0.154).
Chicago comes into the game with records of 13-24 straight up (SU) and 18-19 against the spread (ATS). Vegas has typically been fairly accurate when setting the O/U total of Bulls games, with 19 unders compared to 18 overs.
Meanwhile, New Orleans owns records of 12-25 SU and 15-19-3 ATS. Contrary to Chicago, games featuring the Pelicans have gone over the projected point total 51.4 percent of the time.
New Orleans might struggle to score as they clash against one of the league’s best defenses. Chicago ranks ninth in defensive efficiency, while the Pelicans rank 20th in offensive efficiency.
Chicago Bulls at New Orleans Pelicans Betting Pick
Prediction: ATS Winner – Bulls, O/U – Over
On the road, Chicago is 9-8 ATS with 9 overs and 8 unders.
New Orleans is 8-10 ATS at home with 9 overs and 9 unders.
New Orleans is 3-0 when they hold opponents below 100 points, while Chicago is 4-2.
In games where they score more than 100 points, the Bulls are 13-13 and the Pelicans are 12-22.
Chicago ranks first in points off turnovers per game (21.4) while New Orleans ranks 24th in points off turnovers allowed per game (18.5).
The Bulls rank first in steals per game (10.0) while the Pelicans rank 21st (7.5).
New Orleans ranks eighth in blocks allowed per game (4.4) while Chicago ranks 28th (6.5).
The Bulls rank seventh in fast break points per game (14.8) while the Pelicans rank 25th in fast break points allowed per game (14.8).
Chicago ranks 14th in points allowed in the paint per game (47.6) while New Orleans ranks 26th (51.1).
The Bulls rank eighth in three pointers attempted per game (35.2) while the Pelicans rank 19th in three pointers allowed per game (34.1).
Chicago averages 13.4 second chance points per game, which ranks 13th in the league. New Orleans ranks 24th in second chance points allowed per game (13.9).
The Pelicans rank 15th in rebounds per game (45.5) while the Bulls rank 25th in rebounds allowed per game (47.2).
New Orleans averages 24.9 assists per game, which ranks 10th in the league. Chicago ranks 17th in assists allowed per game (24.1).
Over its last five games, Chicago is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
New Orleans is 4-0-1 ATS with 5 overs over its last five games.
The Bulls’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 1.0, down from 1.5 for the season.
During their last five games, the Pelicans have scored an average of 120.6 points per game (7.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 115.2 points per game (1.7 below their season average).