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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction: Bucks Look for Five Straight Wins

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published March 1, 2024
10 min read

The Milwaukee Bucks (39-21) are looking to extend their winning streak to five for the first time in the Doc Rivers era as they prepare to take on the Chicago Bulls (28-31) in the Windy City on Friday.

The Bucks look like a much more cohesive unit on defense than they did earlier in the year, but they’re only 15-14 on the road and still just .500 in Doc’s time in charge.

The Bulls are not an Eastern Conference contender, but they consistently play teams close and have a slow, methodical style that makes them tough to put away. They also have a one-day rest advantage over Milwaukee, which is on the second night of a back-to-back.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for the Bucks vs. Bulls matchup on Friday.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction

Bucks vs. Bulls Betting Odds for Friday, March 1

The Bucks are 3.5-point road favorites over Chicago. They’re 25-34-1 (42.4%) against the spread overall and 10-13 ATS (43.5%) as a road favorite, though they covered in four straight games.

The Bulls are 31-27-1 (53.5%) ATS and 8-4-1 (66.7%) ATS as a home underdog. They covered six of their last nine games and are 9-5 ATS (64.3%) with a rest advantage, while Milwaukee is 9-6 (60%) with a rest disadvantage.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Milwaukee Bucks -3.5 (-110) -165 Over 221.5 (-110)
Chicago Bulls +3.5 (-110) +140 Under 221.5 (-110)

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Bucks vs. Bulls Prediction

Milwaukee Bucks Preview

It feels as if the Bucks have been through it all at this point. The adjustment to a new coach took time, but they have their defense clicking and are fifth in points allowed per 100 possessions (110.1) in 14 games with Doc in charge, during which they went 7-7.

While that’s a welcome relief to a team that spent most of the season ranked in the bottom 10 in important defensive metrics, they are just 18th on offensive efficiency since Rivers’ appointment. Giannis Antetokunmpo is doing his usual MVP-like duties, but Damian Lillard averaged just 21.6 points and 6.5 assists on 34.2% three-point shooting under his new coach.

Under Doc, the Bucks have a road net rating of +2.1, which ranks 12th during that time. That’s well below their +9.4 rating at home and an indication that their performance drops on the road. 

A similar trend occurred for the season as a whole, with their net rating dropping 5.3 points on the road compared to at home. 

The Bucks turn the ball over at the fourth-lowest frequency and attempt the fourth-most free throws per game. However, they didn't dominate any other areas of the game and finished February 12th in three-point shooting and 20th in rebound rate.

The Bucks won two of three prior matchups against the Bulls, with the one loss coming by seven points on the road. Two of the games went to overtime, and their wins came by nine and four points (both at home).

Chicago Bulls Preview

The Bulls have a deliberate style that wears down opponents and ensures that opponents’ scoring runs are few and far between. 

While the Bucks finished February with a scoring differential of +6.2 per 100 possessions, the Bulls checked in at -0.9. They also struggled at home. Going 2-3 with a rating of -4. 

For the year, Chicago has a +0.8 net rating in the United Center.

The strength of the Bulls’ team is on defense. They allow just 111.5 points per 100 possessions in their building, though they’re only 18th in three-point defense (37% allowed). Milwaukee, for comparison, is seventh (35.2%).

No team dominated the boards more than Chicago during the month of February, a month they also finished with the fourth-lowest turnover percentage and top-seven rankings in both points off turnovers and second-chance points.

DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points (on just 30.5% shooting) in double-overtime against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday and averaged 27.1 for the month. He played Milwaukee twice, scoring 41 points and dishing out 11 assists on Dec. 11 but only managing 11 points on Nov. 13. 

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Bucks vs. Bulls Betting Pick

Chicago is not to be disrespected. Their performances against the spread and against top teams make it clear that they are a formidable threat, even if they don’t have realistic hopes of winning multiple playoff series.

That said, the Bulls rank around or below the Bucks in most major categories and lost their ace in the hole (three-point shooting) that inspired their mid-season surge, ranking 26th in percentage during February (34.8%).

Going on the road on the second night of a back-to-back as the favorite isn’t optimal, but Chicago is near Milwaukee, and the Bucks have been solid with rest disadvantages.

How to Watch Bucks vs. Bulls on 3/1/24

When: Friday, 9:00–10:00 p.m. CT/ET 

Where: United Center, Chicago, IL

TV: ESPN

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

480 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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