Bucks vs Bulls Picks and Predictions: Keep Fading Chicago Against NBA's Elite

The Chicago Bulls are 0-15 straight up on the year and 0-8 ATS in their last eight games versus the NBA's best teams. Tonight — against the defending champs — our NBA betting picks and predictions expect those struggles to rear their ugly heads once again.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Apr 5, 2022 • 11:02 ET • 4 min read
Jrue Holiday Milwaukee Bucks NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks try to bounce back from consecutive losses as they head to the United Center to face off against the Chicago Bulls Tuesday night.

Both of these teams have been up and down lately and will try to head into the playoffs with some momentum. NBA betting lines opened with Milwaukee as a 4.5-point road favorite and have since shifted to -5.5, while the Over/Under has seen significant movement.

Here are our best free Bucks vs. Bulls NBA picks and predictions for April 5, with tipoff at 8 p.m. ET. 

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Bucks vs Bulls odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

This line hit the board with Milwaukee at -4.5 and the Over/Under at 230.5. Early money has come in on the Bucks and the Over, shifting the line to -5.5 and moving the total to 233.  

When these teams previously met up on March 22, the Bucks won 126-98 as 6.5-point home favorites without All-Star Khris Middleton in the lineup.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Bucks vs Bulls predictions

Predictions made on 4/5/2022 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Bucks vs Bulls game info

Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
Date: Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET

Bucks vs Bulls betting preview

Key injuries

Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo PF (Probable), DeAndre' Bembry SG (Out).
Bulls: Alex Caruso SG (Probable), Zach LaVine PG (Doubtful), Lonzo Ball PG (Out), Matt Thomas SG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Bulls are 7-20 ATS in their last 27 games as an underdog. Find more NBA betting trends for Bucks vs. Bulls.

Bucks vs Bulls picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

The Bucks are in a three-way battle for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, sitting half a game back of the Celtics and with an identical 48-30 record as the 76ers with four games left in the regular season. The Bulls are just behind them with a 45-33 mark and will try to avoid the play-in games by finishing the season strong.

The Bucks pulled off an impressive overtime win against the Nets last Thursday but rested their big three of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday the next night and promptly lost by 34 points to the Clippers. They had those guys back in the fold on Sunday but lost again, this time falling 118-112 to the Mavs at home. 

In Chicago's most recent outing, it got clobbered 127-109 by the Heat which is largely emblematic of its biggest flaw this season; an inability to hang with the better teams in the league.

Since the new year, the Bulls are 0-15 straight up versus the Top 8 teams in the league, and they haven't covered the spread in eight straight contests against those squads. That includes a pair of games against the Bucks since the start of March, a 118-112 loss in Chicago on March 4, and an embarrassing 126-98 beatdown in Milwaukee two weeks ago. 

The Bulls can certainly score on anyone, but their defense has been atrocious, especially since losing their best defender Lonzo Ball to a knee injury in the middle of January. Ball has been set back in his rehab and Chicago is just 25th in the league in defensive rating since he's been sidelined. 

The Bulls have been particularly weak at defending at the rim and on the perimeter. Since January 14, Chicago is 26th in the league in points in the paint allowed per game (51.4 ppg) and opponent 3-point percentage (37%).

That's a terrible combination against a Bucks team that is fourth in the NBA with 14.2 3-pointers made per game (at an impressive 36.7% clip) and features the league's most dominant interior player in Antetokounmpo (30.1 ppg and 15.9 ppg in the paint). 

While the Bucks haven't been great on the defensive end of the floor, they are much better than the Bulls, and when they have all their starters on the floor they have the length and versatility to disrupt opponents.

Milwaukee limits foes to 45.6% shooting from the field and held Chicago to just 98 points on 42% shooting when they tangled two weeks ago. We'll lay the points with the Bucks. 

Prediction: Bucks -5.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Over/Under analysis

All three meetings between these teams this season have seen the Under cash. That said, given that the two most recent clashes saw closing totals of 240 and 235.5, we still think there is value on the Over 232.5 tonight.

The Bucks are solid when it comes to defensive efficiency but since they play at such a fast tempo, they can allow plenty of points. 

They've surrendered at least 116 points in five straight games, so even if you omit the 153 points that the Clips scored against their B-Team on Friday, it still doesn't look great. 

As for the Bulls, they've been one of the worst defensive teams in the league and now take on a fast-paced, high-scoring Milwaukee team that ranks third in the league with 115 ppg. We're going with the line movement and backing the Over.

Prediction: Over 232.5 (-110 at bet365)

Best bet

The Bulls have really struggled to defend points guards without Ball in the lineup. On Saturday, they gave up 19 points to Kyle Lowry in just 27 minutes of action and last Friday, Reggie Jackson shredded them for 34 points.

That should be a positive sign for Milwaukee guard Jrue Holiday. He's averaging 18.7 ppg and has been even more impressive against Chicago lately, dropping 27 and 26 points in the last two meetings. 

With the O/U on his points total set at 18.5, a number he has eclipsed in six of his last eight games, we're taking the Over.

Pick: Jrue Holiday Over 18.5 points (-116 at FanDuel)

NBA parlays

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