The Chicago Bulls are expected to be without All-Star guard Zach LaVine and probably fellow starter Alex Caruso as well in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference playoff series on Wednesday in Milwaukee, which is a heavy favorite on the NBA odds to finish the series.
How to Bet Bulls at Bucks NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 7:30 PM ET
- Where: Fiserv Forum
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Bucks -12 (total 218)
Why Bet on Chicago?
Not that the Bulls were going to win anyways, but they learned that All-Star guard Zach LaVine has entered COVID protocols. LaVine is averaging 19.3 points in four postseason games against the Bucks, who have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. This will be the third time that LaVine has entered the league’s protocols, following stints in December and at the end of the 2020-21 season. He is set for free agency after the season but expected to re-sign with Chicago.
He’s been dealing with a nagging knee injury that’s forced him to miss games here and there throughout the season, which could explain his lack of explosiveness in the playoffs. LaVine’s absence from the team comes after two Bulls assistant coaches entered COVID-19 protocols at the start of this series. Both coaches didn’t travel with the team to Milwaukee, and were cleared from protocols ahead of Game 3 back in Chicago.
Fellow guard Alex Caruso is in the concussion protocol and probably out Wednesday. Caruso took an inadvertent hit to the face from the Bucks’ Jevon Carter while trying to get around a pick by Giannis Antetokounmpo late in the second quarter on Sunday. Caruso is maybe Chicago’s best defensive player. He earlier this season missed seven weeks because of a broken wrist following a hard foul by the Bucks’ Grayson Allen during a game in Milwaukee in January.
In their blowout Game 4 loss, the Bulls had three players with double-doubles in the same playoff game for only the second time ever. LaVine had 24 points and 13 assists, Patrick Williams had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Nikola Vucevic had 11 point and 10 boards. The last time the Bulls had three with a double-double in a playoff game was Game 4 of the 1970 Western Division Series vs. Atlanta. It was Vucevic’s eighth career playoff double-double and LaVine’s second.
Another bright spot from Game 4: The Bulls finished 16-of-17 (.941) from the line against the Bucks. The .941 free-throw percentage ties for the sixth best in franchise history in the postseason.
Why Bet on Milwaukee?
Despite playing without All-Star guard Khris Middleton, who will miss at least the rest of this series, the Bucks have blown out the Bulls in back-to-back games. It was 119-95 in Game 4. Grayson Allen recorded his career high in the playoffs for the second straight game with 27 points on 10-for-12 shooting with three steals in 28 minutes off the bench. Allen scored 49 points with 11 three-pointers over the two games in Chicago after only scoring three points over the first two games of the series.
Allen’s Game 4 performance marked the fifth-most points scored by a Buck off the bench in franchise postseason history and were the most since Ricky Pierce had 28 points off the bench in the 1990 playoffs. It was also the first time any Buck has knocked down five or more threes in back-to-back playoff games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo dominated the Bulls in Game 4 with 32 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists. He’s averaging 27.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, and seven assists through the first four games. The Bulls don’t have an answer for him on either end. Among all players so far during the playoffs, Antetokounmpo currently ranks tied for 6th in scoring (27.5 ppg), 2nd in rebounding (14.5 rpg), tied for 6th in assists (7.0 apg) and 5th in blocks (1.75 bpg).
After not tallying a double-double in the first 26 games of his playoff career, Bobby Portis Jr. has now posted double-doubles in three of four games this postseason after scoring 14 points with 10 rebounds in Game 4. He continues to average a double-double this postseason at 11.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
In addition to holding the Bulls to under 100 points for the third time this postseason in Game 4, the Bucks also held the Bulls to under 40% shooting for the third time as they shot just 38.9% as a team. Milwaukee is holding Chicago to just 94.0 points per game on 39.8% shooting from the field – both of which are the lowest marks among playoff teams.
The Bucks would advance to face Boston with a victory.
- Bulls are 17-35 ATS in their last 52 games as an underdog.
- Bulls are 8-18 ATS in their last 26 games overall.
- Bulls are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up loss.
- Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Bucks are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 playoff games as a favorite.
- Bulls are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 meetings.