The Chicago Bulls (42-30) will pay a visit to the New Orleans Pelicans (30-42) on Thursday night at Smoothie King Center. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m. ET as the Bulls will look to gain some ground in the Eastern Conference standings.
Chicago sits in fifth place, three games behind the Boston Celtics. It doesn’t help that they’re just 1-4 in their last five games, with the only win in that stretch coming against the Toronto Raptors. They’ve been falling further behind the pack, as the 76ers, Bucks, and Celtics are all just a game and a half behind the first place Heat. The Bulls will need to get some wins under their belt with just 10 games left if they want a chance at home court advantage in the playoffs.
The Pels are barely hanging on to the last play-in spot in the Western Conference, sitting in 10th place just a game and a half ahead of the Spurs. They’ve gone 4-6 in their last 10, most recently dropping a narrow 106-103 result to the Hornets.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Pelicans favored to win by 1.5 points, priced at -125 on the moneyline. The Bulls sit at +105 while the point total is set at 226.
Pick ATS: Bulls +1.5 (-110)
This is a tough one, since both teams are in the thick of their own playoff races and have a lot on the line in this game. Heading into the home stretch of the season, both sides will be looking for a win to keep their current positioning in the playoff picture.
Chicago is just 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games, while the Pelicans are 7-5 ATS in that same stretch. The Bulls have had a significant run of bad games, ranking 28th in the league in adjusted offensive rating over the past two weeks. They’re without Lonzo Ball (knee) and DeMar DeRozan is listed as questionable with a hip injury as well.
I’m expecting this game to be a close one especially as the Pelicans continue to get healthier. I’m leaning toward the Bulls actually covering in this one, but if Billy Donovan decides to rest DeRozan then it could easily flip to the Pelicans.
Over/Under: Under 226 (-110)
The Bulls have gone over the total just once in their last nine games and have shown some offensive struggles along the way. They’ve averaged just 104.3 points per game through their last three, which is a stark contrast from their season-long average of 111.8 ppg. New Orleans has averaged just 108.5 ppg through the season, but it steps up to 114.7 through the last three.
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