The Chicago Bulls head to New Orleans on Wednesday to face a Pelicans team coming off a controversial loss to the Jazz. Chicago is pretty worse for wear after losing four straight and perhaps losing Wendell Carter Jr. to an ankle injury. With the injury bug hitting both teams this week, deciding who takes this one could be difficult. The Pelicans are five-point favorites in this one, so who to pick?
Focusing On The Future
The Bulls have been on quite the losing streak, but besides a game against the Bucks, all of the recent losses have been within 10 points. The Bulls have more bad news with Carter potentially being out with an ankle injury. Besides the injuries compiling on the Bulls sideline, Chicago is doing what it can to build for the future.
If the injuries were already a concern, I have worse news for you, Chicago’s record against the spread is absolutely awful. It is 1-4-1 in its last six games, though to be fair, three of those games were against much better teams (Milwaukee, Utah, Boston).
An interesting tidbit to note is Chicago’s record against the spread when facing New Orleans, as it has put up a 4-2 record ATS.
A lot of Chicago’s games have gone under as well, and considering the Bulls average just 105.76 points per game, it’s no surprise. They also do well at holding the opposing team to under 110, possessing the league’s ninth-best defense in that category.
Eyes On Finishing Strong
The Pelicans have been doing anything they can to finish this season on a high note. With their most recent loss to the Jazz under heavy scrutiny over a missed call, the Pelicans are excited to get back out there against a struggling Bulls team.
Unfortunately, that game against the Jazz ended with Jrue Holiday injuring his elbow, so he could potentially be out. The great news for the Pelicans is that they’ll be facing a not-so-stellar Bulls offense, which is even better for us.
Zion Williamson has been putting his efforts in during warm-ups, doing dunks here and there to get the crowd into it, but he’s still not ready to play in a game.
Besides the high energy this team brings, it is also dynamite against the spread. In their last seven games, the Pelicans are 6-0-1, a record you should surely take note of.
The Pelicans’ most recent game against the Bulls went to New Orleans, straight up and against the spread. The truth is, even with all the trouble going on in New Orleans, the Pelicans still have plenty of offense.
Being able to cover against teams like the Rockets, Jazz and Clippers is no easy feat, and trusting the Pelicans to cover has worked out so far.
Pick and Prediction
The Bulls are in the process of rebuilding their team to get back to winning in the next couple of years. Unfortunately, I don’t see a reason as to why they would be able to compete with the Pelicans. With an injury to Carter and an earlier injury to Otto Porter Jr., I can’t justify picking the league’s 25th-ranked offense to cover this one.
Some might see the spread and the injuries on the Pelicans sideline and think they won’t be able to cover this game. People also thought that the Pelicans wouldn’t be able to cover against the Lakers last Friday, considering the Lakers have one of the best offenses in the league, and the Pelicans are missing some big pieces.
Considering both these teams are missing pieces on offense, and neither of them gives up many points, the under is pretty appealing as well.
Trusting New Orleans has paid off for a lot of people in their last seven games, so why break the streak? This one is clear cut for me, as I’m taking the Pelicans -5 as well as the under.