We’ve got a Central Division showdown between the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers. The Bulls have been one of the best teams in the league in this early part of the season. Indiana meanwhile is struggling to adapt to their new coach and a new philosophy. Let’s break down the NBA odds to see where we can find a winner tonight.
Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls
Monday, November 22, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at United Center
Bulls Look Like Real Deal
I have to admit that I refused to join the Chicago Bulls bandwagon at the beginning of the season. I’m still not all the way on but I have to admit they are much better than I expected.
Chicago has the second-best record against the spread (ATS) in the league at the moment. The Bulls are 12-5 ATS while the Pacers are 9-9 against the number.
Chicago is top ten in the league in offensive and defensive efficiency. That has allowed them to continue to find ways to win despite all of their injury issues.
Nikola Vucevic has been out for almost two weeks and young up and coming forward Patrick Williams is out for the season. The Williams injury is a big blow because of the potential he was showing and the flexibility he gives their lineup. Despite that, they’ve gone 4-2 without Vucevic and 12-5 overall which is the same as their ATS record.
The line for this game tonight is -4 Bulls which is a very sharp line. It opened at -3.5 and that number is still available depending on which of the top online sportsbooks you shop at.
I’m laying the points with Chicago who have the type of defense that can really put the clamps on this Pacers offense.
Pacers Will Struggle in This Matchup
I’m laying points with the Bulls here because everything the Pacers do well, the Bulls are equipped to stop it. Even the things that Indiana does well won’t make much of a difference against this Bulls team.
The perfect example is Indiana’s three-point defense. They are top ten in three-point defense but the Bulls don’t shoot threes so that’s irrelevant. Indiana gives up the second-most free throws in the league which is a huge problem. The Bulls take the most free throws in the league and that will be a big factor tonight.
There’s also the issue of the Bulls defense which is the real deal. They do have to worry about Domantas Sabonis who is a mismatch problem for most teams but especially this Bulls lineup.
Other than that, I think the Pacers will struggle to score over 100 points. For my NBA picks, I did have a lean to the over but the value is gone now that the number went from 207.5 to 211.5.
On the season, the Bulls’ margin of victory is 5.2 per game which is 5th in the league. That is also enough to cover this -4 spread although I do believe that Chicago wins by margin here.
The chemistry between Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan is real and most teams in the league. The pair is averaging a combined 53.3 points per game and if there was a prop for them to combine for 60, I’d be all over that in this spot.
*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.