Bulls Laying Points to Wounded Hawks in Saturday's Action

Chicago Bulls player in action

Jay Pryce

Saturday, April 1, 2017 2:06 PM GMT

The Bulls are charging toward the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, as they host the injury-riddled Hawks Saturday afternoon (5 P.M. et) at United Center. Get your betting preview with the pick here.

Atlanta Hawks vs Chicago Bulls

The Hawks (39-36 SU, 34-40-1 ATS) are winners of seven straight against the Bulls and are vying for their second series sweep in as many years this afternoon at United Center. The team sits sixth in the Eastern Conference standings with a 2.5-game postseason cushion over its rivals

After dropping seven straight with veteran forward and leading scorer Paul Millsap (18.1 ppg) out due to a sore knee, Atlanta has pieced together two wins with a 99-92 win over the Sixers Wednesday night. Kent Bazemore scored 19 points in his first game back after missing the prior five to a bum knee.

Overall, the Hawks are 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS with their go-to Millsap out of the lineup this season. The team is posting 94.6 points per contest on 40.4 percent shooting. It has failed to reach its projected team total in each game by and an average of 9.8 points. Most of the damage done is underneath the basket where Millsap typically lingers. The Hawks average 42.7 points per game in the paint. They’ve scored more than this just twice in the 10 games with the power forward missing.

The Bulls (36-39 SU, 37-37-1 ATS), with only seven games remaining on the schedule, trail the Heat and Pacers by a half-game for the final playoff spot in the East. They enter this one full of confidence after knocking off LeBron James and the Cavaliers 99-93 on TNT Thursday night. Head coach Fred Hoiberg’s squad has covered six of its last seven played.

The late-season surge is due to some hot shooting. The Bulls average 107.7 points on 48.3 percent from the field in this span. Leading scorer Jimmy Butler is dealing, putting up 26.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 8.6 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. It has been the scoring explosion by Nikola Mitotic, though, propelling the team. The 6-foot-10 Montenegrin has dropped 28 points in three of his last four contests, including 20 3-pointers in sum.

The Bulls are just 22-16 SU (19-19 ATS) at United Center this year, but many of the losses have come against stronger Western teams. Versus Eastern foe.s they are 16-7 SU (14-9 ATS) overall. The Hawks used a 41 point fourth quarter to top Chicago 119-114 in their last visit to the Windy City, despite trailing the previous three-quarters. Look for the Bulls to stand their ground late in this one. Bulls snap the streak. Lay the points for your NBA pick.

 

Free NBA Pick: Bulls -4.5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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