For Wednesday’s upset NBA pick we head to Milwaukee to see how the Bucks will beat the Chicago Bulls. Read more here and add the Bucks to your NBA card on the plus money line.
The Line Makes Sense
When looking for an NBA odds upset I often use this phrase when examining the line. The NBA odds makers have come out with the Bulls at a -5 and sorry to be redundant but it makes sense. Chicago is playing excellent basketball right now having won their last three in a row and five of their last six. The Bucks on the other hand, not so much. I have mentioned before and I will mention it here, the Knight trade to the Suns bothered and still bothers me. Milwaukee has gone in the opposite direction since that time and are just now starting to get back into it, albeit slightly. They have won a couple games at home recently but have dropped their last two to Golden State and then at Atlanta, still they are holding on to the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. I think Kidd realizes though they are far from locked into the playoffs and they desperately need to win some games here in order to secure a spot, I expect a great effort from them. On the year they are 0-3 against Chicago, so again, all this information makes sense for the Bulls to be favored in this spot.
Digging Deeper than Deep Dish
Although Chicago has been a bit hotter recently I think we can attribute that to their recent matchups than their overall strength (more on that later). Since the All Star break the Bulls are shooting 43.9% from the field, Milwaukee is not far behind them at 43.3% in that time frame. Although the Bucks are dealing with different pieces I think they are still focused in on their defense to get it done, they will have to lean on this against the Bulls. On the year the Bucks are ranked 5th in the league in opponent field goal percentage while the Bulls are right behind them ranked 6th. From beyond the arc Chicago is ranked a bit better but both teams are ranked in the top half of the NBA guarding the three. Turnovers is where Milwaukee has done an excellent job defensively ranked 1st in the league at 17.1 per game average while the Bulls are ranked surprising last in the league at causing just below 12 a game. Of course this has more to do with the different philosophy and schemes with how Kidd and Thibodeau attack and rotate on defense.
Oddly enough in the last three games the defensive turnover issue remains true, Milwaukee is leading the league in that time frame at over 18 a game while the Bulls are ranked last at just over 10 per game average. Chicago has been lights though from the field, in the last three games they are shooting over 50%, the Bucks have not been bad shooting above 45% from the field. The Bulls have also been tougher defensively from the floor allowing opponents to shoot only 40% from the field while Milwaukee is ranked towards the bottom of the league at just above 46%. The disparity I see though is the recent matchups in those last three games. While the Bucks were dealing with a resurgent Pacers team winning at home, the Golden State Warriors, and at the Atlanta Hawks, the Bulls had Charlotte at home, at the struggling Raptors, and then the Knicks. So the differences in averages the past three games are proportional to the matchups.
Beating an NBA team four straight times is a difficult task, especially one that is well coached. Chicago is locked up already in the East, and although that doesn’t mean they come into this contest and not play to win, it does mean Milwaukee should be the more motivated team. I like the Bucks for my NBA pick in this spot to avoid the season sweep and get the very much needed win.
NBA Pick: Milwaukee +190 at BookMaker