Celtics vs Bulls Odds, Picks, and Predictions Tonight: White Shows Out in the Windy City

Derrick White continues to be an X-factor for Boston's top offense, and we expect the savvy point guard to shine as a distributor in Thursday night's return to action. Read more in our Celtics vs. Bulls betting picks.

Feb 21, 2024 • 17:11 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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The Boston Celtics will come out of the All-Star break as the top team in the league. Boasting the NBA's best record and leading the Association in net rating, the Celtics have positioned themselves as the frontrunners in the NBA Finals odds.

Their goals in the second half? Clinch homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs and stay as healthy as possible, in hopes of being in the best possible position to win their first NBA Finals since 2008.

That quest starts on Thursday night when they visit the Chicago Bulls in the latest NBA odds. Will Boston start the second half with a bang, or is there value in Chicago as home dogs?

I break down this Eastern Conference matchup and bring you the best bet in my NBA picks for Celtics vs. Bulls on Thursday, February 22.

Celtics vs Bulls odds

Celtics vs Bulls predictions

Through 55 games, the Boston Celtics have been the best team in basketball. And frankly, it hasn’t been close to this point.

Boston’s net rating coming out of the break is 10.3, and no other team has a net rating higher than 7.3. The Celtics are also the only team to rank in the Top 3 in both offensive and defensive ratings.

They are an excellent shooting team, ranking fourth in effective field goal percentage and sixth in 3-point shooting percentage while knocking down the most threes per game in the NBA.

But for my money, what makes the Celtics so dangerous is their depth. Boston has the best starting lineup in basketball full stop. Jayson Tatum may not win MVP, but he’s always in the conversation for the best player on the court in any given game. Jaylen Brown and Jrue Holiday are great two-way players, Kristaps Porzingis has found new life in Boston, and Derrick White could be a top player on many teams.

And with guys like Tatum, Brown, and Porzingis on the floor all at the same time, sometimes a guy like White can get overlooked. But that’s to our betting benefit.

White is averaging 15.6 points while shooting 39.7% from beyond the arc while adding 4.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. While the Bulls’ defense isn’t as bad as you might think (16th in defensive rating), there are a few places where they are still getting roasted. 

That is on the perimeter with the 3-ball and they are susceptible to the extra pass — two things White excels at.

While I think there is some value on White to go Over 2.5 made threes in this matchup at even money, I’m honing in on his assists prop, which is set at 4.5 for this matchup. As noted, White averages 4.7 assists per game, and while he’s stayed below this number in three straight, I think that’s part of the reason we’re getting a good price here. 

White has collected 5+ assists in five of his previous eight games and dished out seven dimes in the Celtics’ last meeting against the Chicago Bulls. With Chicago allowing the seventh most opponent assists per game, I love White to go Over this number on Thursday night.

My best bet: Derrick White Over 4.5 assists (+135 at bet365)

Celtics vs Bulls same-game parlay

Derrick White Over 4.5 assists

Derrick White Over 2.5 made threes

DeMar DeRozan Under 23.5 points

Well, I hinted at it before, but once again, the Bulls stink at defending the perimeter. They give up the most 3-point attempts and second most 3-point makes per game in the NBA. Let's add White to go Over 2.5 made threes, as the Celtics point guard has done so in six of his last nine games.

Let’s round this SGP out by fading DeMar DeRozan. The veteran shooting guard has seen a bit of a dip in production this season, averaging 22.7 points per game, carrying his lowest field goal percentage since 2017-18.

DeRozan now faces one of the toughest defenses in the NBA. The Celtics rank third in defensive rating and second in opponent-effective field goal percentage. DeRozan's point total is set at 23.5, and in his last matchup against Boston, he was limited to just 19 points. Take the Under. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Celtics vs Bulls spread and Over/Under analysis

Oddsmakers have opened with the Celtics listed at -8, which is something that they’ve been accustomed to. Boston has now been favored by 8 points or more in 10 of their last 11 games, but the Celtics have only covered the spread three times in that stretch. 

Now, part of the problem is the Celtics can build up big leads and then take their foot off the gas. But in addition to that, they are one of the most publicly bet teams in the NBA, so you’re going to pay a bit of a premium on them right out of the gate.

And while the Bulls are not on the Celtics' level, they have been a bit scrappy as underdogs of late, covering the spread in three of their last four when getting points.

When it comes to the total, that hit the board at 226. In their last matchup back in November, the Celtics secured a 124-97 victory, narrowly surpassing the total of 219.5 points. Considering the Bulls' offensive improvement may not be substantial enough to warrant a 6-point increase, I'm leaning towards the Under in this one.

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Celtics vs Bulls betting trend to know

The Celtics are 2-6-1 against the spread in their last nine games when favored by 8+ points. Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Bulls.

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Celtics vs Bulls game info

Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
Date: Thursday, February 22, 2024
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: NBCS-Boston, NBCS-Chicago

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