The Milwaukee Bucks (29-5), the NBA’s top scoring team, will take on the Chicago Bulls (13-20) at United Center. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Monday, December 30, 2019, and it can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls Betting Preview
The Bucks were victorious over the Orlando Magic in their last game, 111-100, covering as 6-point favorites. With 17 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, Ersan Ilyasova put together a good performance for Milwaukee. The Bucks, who came into the game averaging an offensive rebounding percentage of 21.5, had a superb mark of 30.2 and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.589 (above their season average of 0.560). The two teams combined to put up 211 points, which finished under the projected point total of 216.5.
The last time the Bulls played, they easily covered the 9.5-point spread against the Atlanta Hawks, 116-81. Zach LaVine played a key role for Chicago with 19 points and seven rebounds. Chicago dominated every stat category in the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.172 (below their season average of 0.190) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 30.2 (above their season average of 21.7). For those same stats, Atlanta had marks of 0.093 and 19.1, respectively. Combined, the two clubs scored 197 points, which finished well under the O/U total of 216.5.
Chicago might have a tough time putting up points as they face off against one of the NBA’s best defenses. Milwaukee ranks first in defensive efficiency while the Bulls rank 27th in offensive efficiency.
Of Milwaukee’s 34 games, 17 have finished over the O/U total, while 18 of Chicago’s 33 games have finished under the O/U total. The Bucks have the substantial advantage straight up (SU) (29-5 vs. 13-20) and a narrow edge against the spread (ATS) (20-14 vs. 18-15).
The Bucks’ Khris Middleton (21 points,6.4 rebounds,4.6 assists) and Brook Lopez (14 points,5.2 rebounds,3.2 blocks) have been playing at a high level over their last five games. Meanwhile, the Bulls have their own duo of hot players. LaVine has averaged 31 points,3.4 assists,1.8 steals, while Lauri Markkanen has averaged 16 points,7.8 rebounds,1.4 blocks.
These two teams have already met twice this season, with the Bucks winning both. In the most recent contest, the Bulls lost 115-101, unable to cover as 8.5-point underdogs. Daniel Gafford put up 21 points and five rebounds. The two teams combined to score 216 points, which was 14.5 points below the projected point total of 230.5 points. Getting to the free throw line was one of Milwaukee’s largest strengths. They made 35 trips to the line, while Chicago went just 14 times.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls ATS Prediction
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Bucks, ATS Winner – Bucks, O/U – Under
The Bucks rank seventh in steals allowed per game (7.1) while the Bulls rank 27th (8.5).
Milwaukee averages 18.7 fast break points per game, which ranks first in the league. Chicago ranks 11th in fast break points allowed per game (12.4).
Milwaukee ranks third in points in the paint per game (51.8) while Chicago ranks 16th (46.9).
Milwaukee ranks seventh in assists per game (26.1) while Chicago ranks 15th in assists allowed per game (23.9).
Chicago is 9-8 ATS at home, while Milwaukee is 9-7 ATS on the road.
The total has gone under in 10 of the Bulls’ 17 home games, while 8 of the Bucks’ 16 road games have gone over.
When holding opponents below 100 points, Chicago is 4-2 and Milwaukee is 8-0.
The Bulls are 13-10 when they score over 100 points, while the Bucks are 29-5.
The Bucks rank first in second chance points allowed per game (10.7) while the Bulls rank 11th (12.7).
Milwaukee averages 51.5 rebounds per game, which ranks first in the league. Chicago ranks 26th in rebounds allowed per game (47.2).
The Bucks average 6.2 blocks per game, which ranks fourth in the league. The Bulls rank 27th in blocks allowed per game (6.5).
The Bulls rank first in points off turnovers per game (21.7) while the Bucks rank 10th (17.9).
Chicago ranks eighth in three pointers allowed per game (32.7) while Milwaukee ranks 29th (38.4).
Chicago is 4-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in its last five games.
Over its past five outings, Milwaukee is 4-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
The Bulls have outscored opponents by an average of 7.4 points in their last five games. For the season, Chicago has been defeated by an average of 0.5 points.
During their last five games, the Bucks have scored an average of 114.4 points per game (5.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 99.6 points per game (7.1 below their season average).