The Chicago Bulls (22-10) will travel to take on the Indiana Pacers (14-21) on New Year’s Eve at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m. ET. This will be the second meeting between these two sides this season, with the first coming last weekend on December 26th when the Bulls secured a 113-105 win at home. Now the Pacers will look to get revenge as they host the Eastern Conference’s second-place team.
The Bulls are favored by four points, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. They’re priced at -180 on the moneyline with the Pacers at +155, while the point total is set at 220.5.
The Bulls are missing five players due to COVID-19 protocols, as Lonzo Ball, Tony Bradley, Ersan Ilyasova, Alfonzo McKinnie, and Marko Simonovic are all on that list. Their head coach Billy Donovan is also in protocols. On top of that, they’ll also be without Patrick Williams (wrist) and Alex Caruso (foot).
Indiana only has four players in protocols with Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte, Isaiah Jackson, and Jeremy Lamb all sidelined. TJ McConnell (wrist) and TJ Warren (foot) are also both out with long-term injuries.
Pick ATS: Bulls -4 (-110)
Even though the Bulls aren’t at full-strength, they’re still one of the best teams in the NBA riding a five-game winning streak. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan have been one of the most lethal tandems in the league, with DeRozan averaging 26.8 points per game and LaVine just behind him at 26.3. On the other side, the Pacers will be minus their leading scorer in Malcolm Brogdon, leaving it to Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert to pick up the slack.
The Pacers lost to the Hornets just a few days after their last loss to the Bulls, and I think Chicago is just too good for a short-handed Indiana to keep up. Take the Bulls to win and cover.
Over/Under: Over 220.5 (-110)
Although the last game between these sides went under the total by just 1.5, the Bulls have gone over in five of their last six outings, while the Pacers have done it in three of their last five. Chicago’s last two games went over by 29 and 20.5, respectively, as DeMar and LaVine can combine to run up the score in any game if they’re given the opportunity. Take the over in this one.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT). 21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/ TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.