Update: Middleton is out for the Bucks, while DeRozan and Caruso have been ruled out for the Bulls. The lines weren’t likely to move too much with Antetokounmpo still set to play. The Bucks are now 7.5-point favorites and we’ll maintain that pick against the spread. The total has moved to 227.5 and we’ll maintain our pick there too.
Thursday’s matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls is a case of two teams headed in different directions. At 40-17, the Bucks have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and are riding an 11-game winning streak, while the Bulls (26-32) are riding a five-game losing streak and have fallen out of the play-In picture.
The Bucks will be without Pat Connaughton (calf), Bobby Portis Jr. (knee) and Jae Crowder (reconditioning), while Giannis Antetokounmpo is probable with knee soreness. Lonzo Ball (knee) and Javonte Green (knee) are out for the Bulls, while Derrick Jones Jr., Goran Dragic, and DeMar DeRozan have yet to carry an official designation. DeRozan has a Grade 1 thigh strain and could be rested with the All-Star break upon us.
The Bucks are 8-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, and the points total sits at 229.5. On the moneyline, the Bucks are -330 while the Bulls are +275.
Bucks vs. Bulls, 7:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Bucks -8
The Bucks are too good to pass up against a Bulls team that’s playing the second night of a back-to-back and could be without one of their best scorers in DeRozan. The Bucks also have one of the best records in the NBA against the spread at 31-23-3. Even though the Bulls lead the season series 2-0, the Bucks have looked like a different team since Khris Middleton’s return and should dominate against a Chicago squad that seems ready for the All-Star break to hit.
Over/Under: Under 229.5
While these teams cleared this number in their two matchups of the year, the under is the way to go here. The Bulls offense has been stuck in the mud recently, failing to clear 100 points twice over the last five games. The Bucks have had the best defensive rating in the NBA (107.1) over their 11-game winning streak and should contain Chicago tonight.