The Chicago Bulls are trying to keep pace with the Miami Heat atop the Eastern Conference, while the Atlanta Hawks simply are trying to reach the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. It’s an important game for both when Chicago visits Atlanta on Thursday with the Bulls as short favorites on the NBA odds.
How to Bet Chicago at Atlanta NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
- Where: State Farm Center
- TV: NBA League Pass
- Stream: NBA.com, NBA TV app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Bulls -3.5
Chicago looks for the four-game sweep of Atlanta. The teams played most recently on Feb. 24 in Chicago and the Bulls rallied for a 112-108 win. DeMar DeRozan led Chicago led the team with 37 points, including hitting a go-ahead jumper while getting fouled to put the Bulls up 110-108 with 15.1 seconds left. Zach LaVine added 20 points. Atlanta was led by Bogdan Bogdanovic’s season-high 27 points off the bench. The Bulls lead the all-time series 135-116 but are 55-68 in Atlanta.
Why Bet on Chicago?
This season, the Bulls have dominated on teams at .500 or worse but been beaten badly by the good teams. That was the case on Monday when the Bulls were mostly dominated in a 112-99 loss in Miami even though the Heat didn’t have starting point guard Kyle Lowry. The Heat are now 3-0 against Chicago, ensuring Miami would hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bulls if one is needed to determine seeding. The Heat led most of the way, building as much as a 24-point cushion.
“I think the biggest thing for me is we have to get battle-tested in some of these games and we just don’t have a lot of guys who have gone into these kind of experiences,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “I think it’s really good for us.”
DeMar DeRozan hit 7-of-16 shots for 18 points in the loss. DeRozan was trying to match Michael Jordan as the only other player in the modern era to average 35 points on 55 percent shooting for an entire month but fell just short, finishing February at 34.2 points on 55.3 percent shooting. He had scored at least 30 in 10 straight games, one shy of tying Jordan’s Bulls record.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 22 points but said his left knee still isn’t 100 percent, and he anticipates having to play through the pain until he can address the issue during the offseason. LaVine has scored 20-plus points in all three of the Bulls’ post-break games, but he’s shooting just 46.2 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from three during those contests, which are both just slightly below his season averages.
“I’m not going to be 100 percent. Now can I still go out here and contribute? I can still do that, but it’s just something I’ve got to fight through until the end of the season. I’m not going to be a person that shuts it down. We’re having a great year. I’m having a good year, so I’m going to go out there and help my team anyway I can.”
The Bulls are 24-3 (.889) when they hand out more assists, and 19-1 (.950) when its bench outscores their counterparts. As a team, Chicago has shot .500 or better an NBA second-best 23 times, winning 21 (.913) of those contests. Chicago has connected on 20 or more free-throws while shooting .850 or better from the line 11 times, the most of any team in the league.
The last time the Bulls went 4-0 against the Hawks was during the 2013-14 season.
Why Bet on Atlanta?Atlanta blew a 17-point lead on Tuesday in Boston and lost 107-98. The Celtics played the final three quarters without second-leading scorer Jaylen Brown, who left the game in the first quarter with a right ankle injury.
Atlanta led by as many as 17 points in the first half before that cushion evaporated in a 14-0 run by Boston to open the third quarter. The Hawks shot selection didn’t help, going 7 of 31 from 3-point range in the game.
“They came out aggressive, ready to attack and I thought we got back on our heels,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “We just settled for the long ball. We didn’t attack.”
Trae Young hit 12-of-25 shots for 31 points with six assists. Young tweaked his left ankle and went to the locker room but he was able to return and play through it. Young hit 8-of-12 shots in the first half but just 4-of-13 in the second half. Bogdan Bogdanovic hit 10-of-16 shots for 25 points. He has scored in double figures in eight straight games, in 14 of his last 15 and has scored at least 23 in five of his last seven.
missed all eight shots to finish with four points. He’s now hit just 20-of-62 shots over his last six games. Reserve forward Onyeka Okongwu took a shot to the head during the second quarter and was taken back to the locker room to undergo further evaluation. He didn’t return and probably is out Thursday.
Before Tuesday, the Hawks had connected on 10-or-more three-pointers in 12 straight games, marking the third-longest such streak in franchise history. Over those 12 games, Atlanta averaged 14.2 three-pointers made. The Hawks currently have an offensive rating of 112.6, the second-best offensive rating in franchise history.
While one three-point streak ended Tuesday in Boston, Atlanta has connected on 10-or-more three-pointers in 16 straight games at State Farm Arena, marking the longest such streak in franchise history.
- Hawks 115, Bulls 114