NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls ‘under’ 187½

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

As expected, the Bucks played much looser in their first game without Scott Skiles last night, but that was vs. the defenseless Suns. Look for the Bulls to slow down the game Wednesday.
Look for a relatively low scoring affair on Wednesday night when the Milwaukee Bucks (17-16, 7-8 away) pay a visit to the Chicago Bulls (19-13, 10-8 home) at the United Center in Chicago, IL at 8:05 ET.

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 187½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -107.

The Bucks parted ways with former coach Scott Skiles on Monday and as expected Milwaukee play much looser last night without the defensive-minded Skiles at the helm, beating the Phoenix Suns 108-99. Brandon Jennings led the way with 29 points including 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the three-point arc, but he was just one of an amazing seven Bucks to score double-digits!

Keep in mind though that was at home vs. one of the worst defenses in the NBA, and also vs. a team that did not mind getting caught up in the Bucks’ pace as Milwaukee ranks seventh in the league with a pace rating of 96.3 possessions per game. That is not the Bulls’ game at all however, as Chicago is ranked 25th at 92.7 possessions, and the Bulls figure to be the team playing this game at their pace at home.

Beside the ‘under’ is 9-5-1 in Milwaukee road games this year as the Bucks have been unable to force teams to play their pace away from home. And the Bucks generally need a fast pace to score points because they are simply not a very good shooting team, ranking 25th in the NBA in field goal percentage at just 43.2 percent and 26th in three-point shooting at 34.0 percent. Milwaukee has now gone 10 straight road games without reaching 100 points!

That includes a 93-92 upset win the last time the Bucks visited Chicago on November 26th, as Milwaukee incredibly overcame a 27-point deficit. That was simply a case of the Bulls relaxing though thinking the game was well in hand, and the Bucks scored 30 points in the fourth quarter after scoring only 63 over the first three quarters. You can bet that the Bulls have not forgotten and will not ease up defensively this time.

Speaking of defense, the Bulls are now up to third in the NBA in points against allowing only 91.5 points per game, thanks to holding their last five opponents to 88.6 points per game on a measly 43.6 percent shooting. Chicago held all five of those opponents to 94 points or less and they held the Cleveland Cavaliers to 42.3 percent shooting in their last game on Monday.

As mentioned, Chicago likes to play at a plodding pace and the last thing that the Bulls want to do is get involved in a track meet with a loose, athletic team like Milwaukee. Chicago’s normal pace has led to a sparkling 20-12 ‘under’ mark including a blistering 13-5 here at the United Center, where Bulls’ games are averaging just 181.8 points, about six points less than this posted total.

Look for more of the same here with yet another Chicago ‘under’ on Wednesday.


NBA Pick: Bucks, Bulls ‘under’ 187½ (-107)
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