The Boston Celtics test their grit and try to improve their spot in the Eastern Conference pecking order with a trip to the Windy City to play the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
Boston followed troubling losses to Eastern contenders Miami and Toronto with victories over cupcakes Indiana and Washington in the past two games. The Bulls are playing the second of back-to-back contests tonight after losing to Milwaukee on Tuesday and Miami on Saturday – a home stretch against the top three teams in the East.
Check out our free NBA picks and predictions for Celtics at Bulls on April 6.
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Celtics vs Bulls odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Boston opened as low as -6.5-point favorites and has climbed to -7.5 as of Wednesday afternoon. The total hit the board at 225 points and has plummeted to as low as 221.
Celtics vs Bulls predictions
- Prediction: Celtics -6.5 (-118)
- Prediction: Under 221 (-110)
- Best bet: Bulls TT 1H Under 52.5 (-125)
Predictions made on 4/6/2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Celtics vs Bulls game info
• Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
• Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2022
• Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
• TV: NBCS-Chicago, NBCS-Boston
Celtics vs Bulls betting preview
Celtics: Jayson Tatum F (Probable), Jaylen Brown G (Probable), Al Horford F (Probable), Juwan Morgan F (Out), Nik Stauskas G (Out), Robert Williams C (Out).
Bulls: Zach LaVine G (Probable), Matt Thomas G (Questionable), Lonzo Ball G (Out).
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Betting trend to know
The Bulls are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games versus teams with a winning percentage above .600. Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Bulls.
Celtics 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.
Losses to Toronto and Miami put fear in Celtics fans that perhaps this team had peaked too soon. And wins over Indiana and Washington didn’t put the Beantown faithful at ease either, leaving tonight’s trip to Chicago – as well as upcoming road games at Milwaukee and Memphis – as the true litmus test.
Boston has been the best in the East since the All-Star break at 15-4 straight up and in fact has been playing stellar two-way basketball since the calendar flipped to 2022, boasting a 32-11 SU record and a 22-20-1 against the spread mark in that span.
The Celtics present another elite opponent for the Bulls, who are coming off losses to the Bucks and Heat, as well as another high-level defense.
Chicago managed scores of 106 and 109 in those past two outings – shooting less than 43% combined – and now faces a Celtics squad boasting the third-lowest advanced defensive rating (110.0) since the break.
Granted, the Bulls rested standout guard Zach LaVine in last night’s loss to Milwaukee, but they’ve watched their offensive output steadily drop the past two months.
Chicago went from owning the fourth-highest offensive rating (113.4) and averaging 112.6 points per game from the start of the schedule to about mid-February, to managing only 108.6 points an outing and an offensive rating ranked fifth lowest in the NBA over the past 20 games.
Boston’s backbone is its defense but the Celtics' attack is loaded with playmakers – including Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown – who are both expected to be in action tonight. Veteran guard Marcus Smart can also provide a scoring spark for a team that has hung 124 points or more in six of their last eight games.
This is an important game to the Celtics if they want to make a move up the East table, sitting tied with Milwaukee at 2.5 games back of Miami for first place. With the Bucks and Grizzlies left on the sked, a lookahead spot looms, but this is Boston’s easiest game and therefore a must win.
Prediction: Celtics -6.5 (-118 at 888Sports)
Chicago head coach Billy Donovan has been desperately trying to diversify the Bulls’ offense, which relies heavily on isolation and transition.
Chicago has attempted to fine tune its halfcourt sets, working the ball through center Nikola Vucevic more and trying to spark ball movement for an attack that is stagnant when forced to slow down.
The Bulls’ offensive tempo ranked out at 99.04 in pace rating before the power was pulled on their scoring in mid-February. Over the last 10 games, that pace has dwindled to a toe-dragging 96.30.
Boston is not a team you “get right” against on offense. The Celtics’ defense took a hit with the injury to Robert Williams inside, but this crew still ranks out No. 1 versus isolation with a scoring frequency of only 38.1% allowed and a mere 0.8 points allowed in those one-on-one sets – anchored by tremendous on-ball defenders in Brown, Smart, and Tatum.
The C's are also great at slowing down transition attacks – which Chicago’s offense is very good at (league-best 56% scoring frequency in transition) – checking those pace-pushing foes to 1.08 points per possession (tied for fourth lowest).
With a HUGE game against Milwaukee on tap tomorrow, the Celtics could be conservative with their tempo in Chi-Town tonight. And should they bust this game open, head coach Ime Udoka will quickly yank his starters in an effort to rest up for the second of back-to-back outings Thursday.
The best of the number has long sailed on this Over/Under, dropping as much as 4.5 points across the market. We’ll lean to the Under, a move like this is a good excuse to avoid the total tonight.
Prediction: Under 221 (-110 Bet365)
The best-case scenario for the Celtics tonight is to come out hard and put the Bulls to bed quick so they can reserve their strength for tomorrow’s trip to Milwaukee.
Boston has the two-way talents to dominate the first 24 minutes of basketball, boasting an average first-half margin of +7.4 points since the All-Star break. The Celtics give up just 52.1 points per first half in that span and face a Bulls lineup playing its second outing of back-to-back games, coming off the loss to the Bucks on Tuesday.
Chicago’s overall offensive issues have been amplified in those opening two quarters, with the Bulls sitting dead last in first-half point production at 51.6 in the 20 games since the break. The team putters out a pace rating of only 97.55 (28th) in those initial halves.
If we magnify that to their last eight games – in which it owns a 3-5 SU record – the Bulls are pumping out a meager 51.5 1H ppg on 44% shooting in the opening 24 minutes of action.
That scoring average is where bookies have parked Chicago’s first-half team total for tonight, disregarding the situational speed bumps or the quality of opponent on the defensive end. In fact. DraftKings has the Bulls 1H team total at 52.5 with the Under at -125.
Pick: Bulls first-half team total Under 52.5 (-125 at DraftKings)
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