The Chicago Bulls (13-20) will try to slow down the league’s top scoring team when they meet the Milwaukee Bucks (29-5) at United Center. The game starts at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, December 30, 2019, and will air on NBC Sports Chicago.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls ATS Prediction
The Bucks come in on a high note after covering the 6-point spread against the Orlando Magic in their last contest, 111-100. The game’s total points (211) were under the O/U total of 216.5. Milwaukee won the rebounding battle. The Bucks had more offensive rebounds (13 vs. five), defensive rebounds (44 vs. 30) and total rebounds (57 vs. 35). Milwaukee rallied around Ersan Ilyasova, who contributed 17 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.
In the Bulls’ last game, they dismantled the Atlanta Hawks, 116-81, easily covering as 9.5-point favorites. The game’s combined points (197) came in well under the O/U total of 216.5. The Bulls made 15 of their 19 free throws (78.9 percent) and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 30.2 (above their season average of 21.7). With 19 points and seven rebounds, Zach LaVine had a good performance for Chicago.
The Bucks have emerged victorious in both matchups against the Bulls this year, including a 115-101 victory in their last matchup. Milwaukee covered as an 8.5-point favorite and the game finished with a total of 216 points, which was 14.5 points below the projected point total of 230.5 points. Milwaukee had a much better free throw rate (0.293 vs. 0.113). Chicago, meanwhile, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (24.5 vs. 17.8). Despite the loss, Daniel Gafford was a standout player in the game, putting up 21 points and five rebounds.
Milwaukee comes into the game with records of 29-5 straight up (SU) and 20-14 against the spread (ATS). Vegas has been spot on when predicting totals of Bucks games, with an even split between overs and unders.
Meanwhile, Chicago is 13-20 SU and 18-15 ATS. Just over half of Bulls games have finished under the total.
Both teams have had a couple of players heat up over their last five games. For the Bucks it’s been Khris Middleton (21 points,6.4 rebounds,4.6 assists) and Brook Lopez (14 points,5.2 rebounds,3.2 blocks), while LaVine (31 points,3.4 assists,1.8 steals) and Lauri Markkanen (16 points,7.8 rebounds,1.4 blocks) have been stellar for the Bulls.
The inefficient offense of Chicago (27th in the league with an offensive efficiency of 102.9) will go head-to-head against the stingy defense of Milwaukee (first in the league with a defensive efficiency of 99.7). The Bucks figure to have the edge on that side of the ball.
Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls Free Pick
NBA Prediction: ATS Winner – Bucks, O/U – Under
Milwaukee is 9-7 ATS on the road with 8 overs and 8 unders.
At home, Chicago is 9-8 ATS with 10 unders and 7 overs.
Chicago is 4-2 when they allow under 100 points, while Milwaukee is 8-0.
The Bulls are 13-10 when they score more than 100 points, while the Bucks are 29-5.
Milwaukee averages 51.5 rebounds per game, which ranks first in the NBA. Chicago ranks 26th in rebounds allowed per game (47.2).
The Bucks average 6.2 blocks per game, which ranks fourth in the league. The Bulls rank 27th in blocks allowed per game (6.5).
Chicago ranks eighth in three pointers allowed per game (32.7) while Milwaukee ranks 29th (38.4).
The Bucks rank seventh in steals allowed per game (7.1) while the Bulls rank 27th (8.5).
Milwaukee ranks third in points in the paint per game (51.8) while Chicago ranks 16th (46.9).
The Bucks rank first in second chance points allowed per game (10.7) while the Bulls rank 11th (12.7).
Milwaukee averages 18.7 fast break points per game, which ranks first in the league. Chicago ranks 11th in fast break points allowed per game (12.4).
The Bulls rank first in points off turnovers per game (21.7) while the Bucks rank 10th (17.9).
Milwaukee ranks seventh in assists per game (26.1) while Chicago ranks 15th in assists allowed per game (23.9).
Over its last five games, Milwaukee is 4-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
Chicago is 4-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs over its last five games.
The Bucks’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 14.8, up from 13.0 for the season.
During their last five games, the Bulls have scored an average of 109.2 points per game (3.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 101.8 points per game (4.7 below their season average).