Bucks vs. Bulls Betting Line – NBA Playoffs

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Apr/17/2015
Bucks vs. Bulls Betting Line – NBA Playoffs

Carrie Stroup here with your Bucks vs. Culls betting line for the start of the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS (41-41) at CHICAGO BULLS (50-32)

Eastern Conference - First Round

Sportsbook.ag Line: Chicago -8, Total: 186.0

The Bulls host the Bucks in Game 1 of their opening round series on Saturday.

The Bucks played the Celtics in Milwaukee in their last regular season game and the team lost 105-100 as a 5.5-point home favorite. The Bucks had won three straight games heading into that one and hope to recapture that magic against Chicago in Game 1.

The Bulls ended the regular season with a 91-85 victory as 5-point home favorites against the Hawks on Tuesday. Chicago has won four straight games SU and three of those four games ATS.

In four meetings between these two teams during the regular season, the Bulls won-and-covered in three games. Over the past three seasons, Chicago is also 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS versus Milwaukee.

The Bucks are 13-4 ATS in road games after having won two of their past three games this season. They are also 29-19 ATS when playing as an underdog this season. The Bulls, meanwhile, are 46-30 ATS when revenging a loss versus an opponent over the past two seasons. They also get to face a Bucks team that is 20-35 ATS on Saturday games over the past three seasons.

Both teams enter this game with relatively healthy lineups, but PG Derrick Rose (knee) has been experiencing some soreness.

The Bucks have been a surprise team this season and they’ll now look to prove that they belong in their first round matchup with the Chicago Bulls. If Milwaukee is going to compete in this series then PG Michael Carter-Williams (14.6 PPG, 6.7 APG, 5.3 RPG, 1.7 SPG) is going to need to play at a high level. In his only meeting with the Bulls this season, the guard had 21 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and a steal in 33 minutes of action. He must play solid defense on Derrick Rose and also find his teammates for some good looks at the basket.

SG Khris Middleton (13.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.5 SPG) is going to need to hit his shots in this series. Middleton has been a marksman from the outside this season (41% 3PT) and is shooting 47% from behind the arc over his past five games. He can really change a game with his ability to score and he also plays very disrupting defense.

SF Giannis Antetokounmpo (12.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.0 BPG, 1.0 SPG) is going to need to play well in this series or the Bucks really have no chance. He is the team’s most talented player, but has been in Jason Kidd’s doghouse recently. He must be efficient in this series and play hard on both ends of the floor.

PF Ersan Ilyasova (11.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG) has scored 21 points in two of the past three games. Ilyasova can get hot in a hurry and is a very good shooter (39% 3PT), especially for a guy his size. He’s going to need to have some big games in this series.

The Bulls have an NBA title on their minds, but the health of PG Derrick Rose (17.7 PPG, 4.9 APG, 3.2 RPG) is a major question mark. He left the regular season finale against the Atlanta Hawks after just 10 minutes of playing time. If he is not at 100% then the Bulls will have plenty of trouble winning this series.

SG Jimmy Butler (20.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.8 SPG) is averaging just 14.8 PPG against the Bucks this season, but he did average 7.5 RPG, 6.0 APG and 2.3 SPG in those contests. He is one of the best two-way players in basketball and must put his stamp on this series.

PF Pau Gasol (18.5 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.9 BPG) has had a career resurgence in Chicago this season and enters the playoffs after putting up double-doubles in the last four regular season games. He dominated the Bucks this season, averaging 24.3 PPG and 13.3 RPG in four meetings with the team. He has too much size and strength for Ilyasova to deal with inside, but he must also stop the Bucks’ forward on the defensive end.

C Joakim Noah (7.2 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.1 BPG) hurt his hamstring and missed the last two games of the regular season. He will play in this one though and will need to protect the rim and also be very effective on the glass.

PF Nikola Mirotic (10.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG) has the ability to change this series off the bench. He is a very good scorer and can put points on the board in bunches if he sees the minutes.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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