Can the Milwaukee Bucks go for the gentleman’s sweep tonight at home, or will the Chicago Bulls pull out an improbable win to get to Game 6 back in Chicago?
Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Wednesday, April 27, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Fiserv Forum
White Flag Being Threaded
I wrote up an NBA pick for Game 3 of this series a few days ago and I very wrongfully expected the Bulls to put up a fight in that game, only for them to get blasted at home from the opening tipoff.
The Milwaukee Bucks proved last year that their prowess at full strength cannot be matched, and even with the Bucks far from full strength missing Khris Middleton, it hasn’t mattered one iota over the last two games.
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It won’t matter here in Game 5 regardless if the Bulls can keep this game close either, because they have already signaled this series is headed for the end. Zach LaVine has entered health and safety protocols for the seventeenth time (exaggeration) this season and won’t play tonight.
On top of that, Alex Caruso is yet again dealing with an injury, this time a concussion, forcing him to sit out as well. Add in all the bad luck with Covid, Lonzo Ball’s injury, and a host of other issues and it’s evident this team is ready to call it a season and retool for next season.
However, the Bulls are still down 3-1 and face elimination here in Game 5 back in Milwaukee and have to play at least one more game in this series. One look at the NBA odds favoring the Bucks at -12 ½ and you can tell this one has the makings of an ugly one.
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I’m not here to say either team will cover though. A double-digit spread in a postseason game is rare, but not unheard of and the Bulls may still have some fight in them despite being counted out by everyone.
That being said, I think betting on either side of this full game spread is a bit of a risk. Compare that to the totals and props though and you have a couple of better plays.
The Sharp Pick
The first bet I’m playing for this game is the full game under. With LaVine off the court and the Bucks smelling blood, they have a vested interest in putting the Bulls out of the misery here. With those three guards off the court, Chicago’s offense is going to struggle with only DeMar DeRozan and not much else coming from the Bulls’ backcourt.
With that in mind though, another bet I’m taking a stab at tonight is DeRozan’s three-point prop. DeRozan famously doesn’t shoot many three-pointers. He is currently 0-for-9 in this series after going 0-for-5 in Game 4 trying to come back late in the game.
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Now without LaVine and Caruso, DeRozan is going to have to spend a lot more time facilitating and having the ball in his hands when his number is called. Coby White isn’t a facilitator and while I fully expect Ayo Dosunmu to also get some looks running the offense, things will run through DeRozan as long as this game is close.
According to NBA Wowy, when LaVine, Caruso, and Ball were all off the court this season, DeRozan had a usage rate of 37 percent and a three-point attempt rate of just 3 percent. All those guys being out helps DeRozan’s three-point under betting odds here, especially because they vary wildly at different sportsbooks.
Some have under 0.5 three-pointers between +155 and +180 or have under 1.5 three-pointers with some heavy juice. Assuming we get 25 or more shots from DeRozan here and assuming only one or two of those attempts are from beyond the arc, I think it’s worth taking a shot at him staying cold from deep.
The Bulls falling behind and DeRozan having to chuck is a concern, but I think most of his attempts will come from inside the arc and hopefully, he continues to miss them all.
NBA Pick: DeMar DeRozan Under 0.5 Three-Pointers Made (+159) with BetOnline
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