The Chicago Bulls were dominated by the Milwaukee Bucks during the regular season but put up a nice fight in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series before the Bucks pulled away. Milwaukee is a big favorite on the NBA odds back at home for Game 2 Wednesday.
How to Bet Bulls at Bucks NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 9:30 PM ET
- Where: Fiserv Forum
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Bucks -10 (total 225)
Why Bet on Chicago?
The Bulls were 93-86 losers in Game 1 but that was a positive with how badly they lost all four times to the Bucks in the regular season. DeMar DeRozan was held to 18 points on awful 6-of-25 shooting on Sunday, adding eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and three turnovers across 42 minutes. Zach LaVine also was held to 18 points on 6-for-19 shooting but added 10 rebounds.
Nikola Vucevic double-doubled in the Bulls’ Game 1 loss with 24 points on 9-for-27 shooting and 17 rebounds. Vucevic’s usage rate during the regular season was 24.4, but for Game 1 that number spiked to 35.4, although he was uncharacteristically inefficient tonight. LaVine, Nikola Vucevic and DeRozan combined to hit only 21 of their 71 field-goal attempts and went 4-of-22 from beyond the arc.
Down 89-86 with 52.7 seconds left, Vucevic missed an easy follow-up shot and gasped in despair as the ball trickled fecklessly off the rim with likely the chance for victory. The Bulls shot 32.3 percent and were seven of 37 on threes, an unusually high number of attempts for them because the Bucks are known to sink into the lane and thus open long shooting opportunities.
While the Bulls did lose the overall battle 58-53, they put up one of their better communal efforts on the glass this season. The Bulls basically had a six-player rotation and a little bit of Javonte Green, who played 17 minutes. Patrick Williams was the only starter playing fewer than 32 minutes.
That the Bucks only scored 93 points is impressive, as the team averaged 115.5 points a night during the regular season, good for third-best in the league. Chicago created 21 turnovers and notched 10 steals, and the Bucks made just 40.5% of their field goal attempts.
“Our physicality was really good,” said Alex Caruso. “Our willingness to compete on every possession, to have a next-play mentality, to not worry about makes and misses. Being impartial to the noise and just do your job.”
Why Bet on Milwaukee?
While the Bucks played far from perfect in Game 1, a win is a win. Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded a 27-point, 16-rebound double-double with three assists, two blocks and five turnovers in 33 minutes. He helped Milwaukee open the game with a 21-9 run and he had his double-double early in the second quarter. The only negative was that he shot just 6-of-11 at the line, but he also finished 10-of-19 from the field.
Brook Lopez was the first Milwaukee player to reach double figures in points, scoring 11 of his 18 points during the first quarter of play and he added five rebounds, one triple, two blocks and two turnovers in his 32 minutes of floor time. Numerous times down the stretch when the Bucks were in dire need of a basket, it was Lopez who answered and scored down low.
“Yeah, I mean, he’s a huge key to the game tonight — both ends of the court. He was very good, made a lot of big plays, finishing around the basket, started the game well, finished the game well, lot of plays around the rim defensively. He was very important,” Coach Mike Budenholzer said.
Khris Middleton scored just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting and a whopping seven turnovers. Middleton and Jrue Holiday expended a ton of energy chasing around Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan on defense. Holiday was held to 15 points and had four turnovers.
Bobby Portis closed with 10 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. As long as he’s healthy, the big man will continue to serve as the Bucks’ first big man off the bench behind Lopez and Antetokounmpo. The four Bucks’ reserves that played in this opening matchup were Portis, Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton, and Jevon Carter. This group combined to score 16 points on 5-of-19 shooting (26.3 percent), as Milwaukee’s second unit scoring woes from the regular season continued.
Following a month off due to hand surgery in February, Connaughton had a tough time regaining his footing upon his return to the lineup down the stretch, and that has carried over into the playoffs. The Bucks had lost Game 1 in five of their last six series.
This the fourth consecutive season the Bucks have earned a top three seed in the playoffs as they were previously the top seed in the 2019 and 2020 playoffs, before being the three seed during last year’s run to winning the NBA title. Since Budenholzer took over in 2018, the Bucks have not only been a top three seed all four years, but they have the most regular season (213) and postseason (31) wins in the NBA.
- Bulls are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Bulls are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games as an underdog.
- Bulls are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games following a straight up loss.
- Bulls are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games as a road underdog.
- Bucks are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Bucks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Bucks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as a home favorite.
- Bucks 118, Bulls 111