Milwaukee Bucks ATS are Your NBA Pick vs. Chicago Bulls

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, February 23, 2015 5:40 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 5:40 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Monday.

 



The road team seems like an overlay Monday night in the Windy City when those Milwaukee Bucks (31-24, 15-13 away) pay a visit to the Chicago Bulls (35-21, 16-11 home) at the United Center in Chicago, IL at 8:05 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet - Chicago.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Milwaukee as a decided road underdog for this contest with the current line at +8 with odds of -105.


Trying to Hold Off LeBron & Co. in Central
The Bulls maintain a one-half game lead over LeBron James and the hard-charging Cavaliers in the Central Division after a non-covering 112-107 home win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday. Chicago has yet to cover a point spread in two games since the All-Star break as it lost outright to the Pistons in Detroit as a six-point favorite on Friday.

The Bucks meanwhile have gone from being the worst NBA picks in the league last season at 15-67 to being a playoff team this season, in fact sitting just 1½ games behind the Washington Wizards for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and only 3½ games behind these Bulls while in third place in the Central. This is the second game of a back-to-back for the Bucks after losing at home to the top seeds in the East, the Atlanta Hawks 97-86 on Sunday.


Best Road Bets in NBA
That loss to the Hawks yesterday wrapped up a five-game home stand in which Milwaukee won the first four games straight up, although it finished the home stand at just 1-4 ATS. However, perhaps now going on the road is exactly what the Bucks need, as besides owning a winning 15-13 straight up mark away from home, Milwaukee has been the best road bet in the NBA this season at a scintillating 21-7 ATS!

Perhaps Jason Kidd should be given credit for being a damn good basketball coach, as after taking the Brooklyn Nets to the playoffs and winning a series vs. the Toronto Raptors last season in his first coaching gig ever the year after still being an active player, he is now orchestrating this tremendous turnaround in Milwaukee without the biggest benefit to the Bucks finishing with the worst record last year, as rookie Jabari Parker was lost for the season after only 25 games.

The Bucks are 20th in the NBA in scoring with 98.8 points per game, but that is deceptive as they are actually fifth in field goal percentage at 46.5 percent and third in three-point shooting at 37.6 percent. The biggest improvement over last season though has been defensively, where Milwaukee is fourth in points against at 96.9 per game, fourth in field goal percentage allowed at 43.3 percent and third in three-point defense at 32.7 percent.


Bulls Play Down to Competition
Now the Bulls certainly have the talent to represent the East in the NBA Finals, and that is despite changing their personality in their fifth season under Coach Tom Thibodeau, who is a defensive specialist by nature. However, after Chicago simultaneously led the NBA in fewest points allowed last season at 91.8 per game while ranking dead last in points scored with just 93.7 per contest, the Bulls upgraded the offense this year.

Knowing Derrick Rose would be returning after missing more than two seasons, the Bulls also added Pau Gasol in free agency. And when you add in the development of Jimmy Butler, who is averaging 20.5 points and made his first All-Star team in his fourth season in the NBA, Chicago is now up to ninth in the league in scoring with 102.1 points per game! The downside is that the defense is only 13th in points against at 99.2 per game and 11th in field goal percentage allowed.

Another downside has been the Bulls’ annoying habit of playing down to the level of the competition, especially here at home. There is really no excuse for a team this talented to be just 16-11 straight up in the United Center, where Chicago has been a true money-burner going a dismal 10-17 ATS.


Visitors Series
Besides this being a matchup of the best road ATS team in the NBA and one of the worst home ATS teams this year, this has also been a visitors’ series for the most part for the last couple of years with the road teams going 7-3 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings.

We see no reason to expect anything different tonight, so when you add this all up the Bucks seem like big overlays when Milwaukee pays a visit to Chicago on Monday.

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NBA Pick: Bucks +8 (-105)

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