Bulls vs Pelicans Picks and Predictions: Bulls Win, But Get Gored in Paint

Chicago can bust out of its slump against a shallow and hobbled New Orleans squad tonight, but while we're leaning with the slim favorites, it's a Big Easy big man who's tonight's best value. Find out more with our Bulls vs. Pelicans picks.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Mar 24, 2022 • 14:47 ET • 4 min read
Jonas Valanciunas New Orleans Pelicans NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls try to snap out of a skid as they head to the Big Easy to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night.

Oddsmakers are expecting a close game with NBA betting lines installing the Bulls as slim 1-point favorites with the Over/Under at 227.5.

Here are our best free Bulls vs. Pelicans NBA picks and predictions for Thursday, March 24.

Bulls vs Pelicans odds

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

This line hit the board with the Bulls installed as slim 1-point favorites but has since jumped the fence to have the Pelicans at -1.5. The Over/Under has also seen big movement, hitting the board at 230 before plummeting all the way to 225.5 as of 11 a.m. ET. 

These teams last faced off in October with the Bulls winning 128-112 as 6.5-point home favorites. 

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.

Bulls vs Pelicans predictions

Predictions made on 3/24/2022 at 11 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

Best NBA bonuses

If you're signing up for a new sportsbook for the 2021-22 NBA season, here are two of the best bonuses available:

USA: CJ McCollum and Zach LaVine to both have Over 39.5 points+rebounds+assists tonight BOOSTED to +650 at Caesars! Claim Now

Canada: Get a 100%-matched sign-up bonus (up to $400) at BetVictor. Claim Now

Bulls vs Pelicans game info

Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Date: Thursday, March 24, 2022
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports New Orleans, NBCS-Chicago

Bulls vs Pelicans betting preview

Key injuries

Bulls: Zach LaVine PG (Probable), DeMar DeRozan SF (Questionable), Lonzo Ball G (Out).
Pelicans: Larry Nance Jr. F (Probable), Brandon Ingram SF (Out), Zion Williamson PF (Out), Kira Lewis Jr. G (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 13-3 in Chicago's last 16 games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Bulls vs. Pelicans.

Bulls vs Pelicans 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 Chicago Bulls have dropped four of their last five games, and have lost seven of their previous eight contests on the road, going 0-8 against the spread during that span. That's a tough stretch for the Bulls, who recently welcomed Alex Caruso back to the lineup and are eagerly anticipating the return of point guard and defensive stopper Lonzo Ball to shore up a team that is fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Injuries are a concern for the Bulls tonight with DeMar DeRozan (27.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5 assists per game) questionable with an abductor strain. However, Zach LaVine (24.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.7 apg) is listed as probable with left knee soreness that he's been playing through lately — even suiting up for 34 minutes on a back-to-back in a blowout loss to the Bucks on Tuesday. 

The Pelicans are also losing plenty of games and dealing with injuries to some key players. It's looking like All-Star forward Zion Williamson won't suit up for the team at all this year while Brandon Ingram (22.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.5 apg) will be out until April.

New Orleans is 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS in its last nine games and is coming off a 106-103 road loss to the Hornets on Monday. The Pels are 12 games below .500 but are still very much in the playoff picture thanks to the play-in, which they would currently qualify for as the No. 10 seed in the West. 

Both of these sides have displayed plenty of cracks on defense, with the Pelicans 17th in the NBA in defensive rating and the Bulls 21st. However, Chicago shoots the ball much better, ranking second in the league with a 48 FG% compared to New Orleans, who is 21st at 45.5%. While the likely absence of DeRozan will hurt them in that area it should be offset by the Pels playing without Ingram. 

With both sides missing 20+ ppg scorers, this game could come down to bench play and the Bulls have a significant advantage in that area.

Coby White provides scoring punch off the bench, rookie Ayo Dosonmu has been a playmaker, Tristan Thompson is an experienced big, and second-year forward Patrick Williams is shaking off the rust after returning to the lineup on Monday after a four-month absence. The New Orleans bench will be led by Larry Nance Jr. while Willy Hernangomez and Jose Alvarado are probably the next best guys up. We'll take the Bulls. 

Prediction: Bulls +1 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

The total has seen significant movement, dropping 4.5 points from the opening number, but we're still playing the Under here. Sure, these teams can put the ball in the hoop and haven't been defending well, but they still combine to score 220.3 ppg while allowing 221.1 ppg — both numbers significantly lower than the O/U tonight. 

In addition, neither side plays at a fast tempo, with the Bulls ranking 13th in the league in pace and the Pels 20th, and both will likely be missing key scoring options in DeRozan and Ingram. With the Under going 13-3 in Chicago's last 16 games we're leaning that way tonight. 

Prediction: Under 225.5 (-110)

Best bet

Without Ingram and Williamson, the Pelicans' offense has revolved around guard C.J. McCollum and center Jonas Valanciunas. While McCollum's O/U on his points total is set at 25.5 tonight, Valanciunas is installed at a more reasonable 18.5. 

The big man is averaging 18.1 ppg on 54% shooting and should be in line for a strong performance against a Chicago side that doesn't defend well inside. The Bulls are 24th in the league in opponent points in the paint per game and allow opposing centers to average 24.1 ppg on 57 FG%  — both numbers near the bottom of the league. 

JV is coming off a 24-point performance against the Hornets on Monday and also dropped 26 versus the Hawks on Sunday.

Pick: Valanciunas Over 18.5 points (-105)

NBA parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NBA Bulls vs. Pelicans predictions and picks in a single-game parlay, you could win $61.16 on a $10 bet?

Use our NBA parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo