Bucks vs. Bulls NBA Playoffs Game 3 Predictions and Free Pick

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The Chicago Bulls tied the series in Milwaukee at 1-1 and now head home to the United Center to welcome the Bucks and attempt to take a firm grasp on this series. Let’s see what the NBA odds for this matchup tell us!

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls

Friday, April 22, 2022 – 08:30 PM EDT at United Center

Bulls Catch a Break

At the end of Game 2, there is a video of Alex Caruso telling his team that they have to stay ready to head back to Chicago. Human nature after winning a game is to relax and that is the exact opposite of what the Bulls need to do here if they want a chance at winning this series.

Before the series started, the Bulls were heavy underdogs and many people were projecting a sweep or a Bucks win in five games max. Even I, a lifelong Bulls fan didn’t have a ton of optimism.

The Bucks are the defending champs, they have one of the more balanced teams in the NBA and their big three stars are better than almost any team out there, including the Bulls’ best three players.

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However, that was then and this is now. Now the Bulls have caught a huge break and were able to steal Game 2 partially because of it. Khris Middleton went down in Game 2 with an MCL sprain and he will be out for the rest of the series.

That’s an enormous blow to the Bucks on both ends of the ball. Middleton was the main defender of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan and now without him, Jrue Holiday will have to play a much bigger role on defense and the rest of the Bucks’ rotation is going to be thrown way off.

This could have ripple effects on the rest of the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo was already forced to play a huge role on offense and he’ll be needed even more without Middleton. Not only that but the Bucks’ depth will get hurt a ton by this.

Now they’ll have to play Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton, and Wesley Matthews more, all three of which have weaknesses the Bulls can exploit on one end of the court or the other depending on who we’re talking about.

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Needless to say, the NBA oddsmakers were correct in shortening these prices a lot from Games 1 and 2, but did they do it enough?

The Sharp Pick

This may seem like a shameless homer pick, but I’m going with the Bulls taking points at home. Without Middleton, the Bulls may be the better team and while their defense still leaves a ton to be desired, they are going to have a lot easier time slowing down the Bucks sans Middleton.

According to Basketball-Reference, the Bucks are almost four full points per 100 possessions better on offense with Middleton on the court and two full points per 100 possessions better on defense as well.

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Combine that with the change of venue and I’m surprised the Bulls are a full possession underdog here.

Yes, the Bucks will be more desperate after losing Game 2 at home, but the loss of Middleton throws so many wrenches into what they try to do on both ends of the court that the Bucks may look a little lost tonight on the road.

Combine that with the packed United Center and a Bulls team that smells blood and for my NBA picks, I’m taking the points with the Bulls.

Score Prediction: Bulls 112 - Bucks 110

NBA Pick: Bulls +3 (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Bulls +3 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.