The Boston Celtics (44-20), the leagues top shooting defense, will challenge the Chicago Bulls (21-41) at United Center. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 216 points with Boston opening as an 8.5-point favorite. Action starts at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, March 5, 2018, and it can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago.
Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls Betting Preview
The Celtics lost a tough one against the Houston Rockets in their last outing, 123-120. Marcus Morris had a solid performance for Boston, leading the team in scoring with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Houston was effective at getting to and converting from the free throw line. The Rockets made 26 of their 30 free throws (86.7 percent), while the Celtics were 19-21 (90.5 percent).
The last time the Bulls played, they beat the Dallas Mavericks, 108-100. Chicago received a boost from Lauri Markkanen, who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Bulls forced 16 turnovers and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.528 (above their season average of 0.499).
The inefficient offense of Chicago will go head-to-head against the top-notch defense of Boston. The Bulls rank 29th in offensive efficiency, while the Celtics are first in defensive efficiency. The Celtics should have the advantage on that side of the ball. Furthermore, the Celtics rank 23rd in offensive rebounding percentage (21.0 percent), while the Bulls rank second in defensive rebounding percentage (81.1 percent).
Of Boston’s 64 games, 33 have finished over the O/U total, while 33 of Chicago’s 62 games have finished over the projected point total. The Celtics hold a sizable advantage in terms of straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 44-20 SU and 37-24-3 ATS, while the Bulls are 21-41 SU and 31-28-3 ATS.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Celtics, it’s been Terry Rozier, who has averaged 13.4 points and 3.8 assists, while the Bulls have gotten great contributions from Bobby Portis (19.0 points and 6.8 rebounds).
These two teams have met twice already this year, each winning once. In the most recent contest, Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 25 points and the Celtics defeated the Bulls 117-92, covering as 8-point favorites. He also put up seven assists. The two teams combined to put up 209 points, which was just 4.5 points above the projected point total of 204.5 points. Boston had a much better turnover percentage (4.7 vs. 13.4). Chicago, meanwhile, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (24.0 vs. 17.0).
Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls ATS Prediction
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Celtics, ATS Winner – Celtics, O/U – Over
- The Celtics rank 16th in blocks per game (4.7) while the Bulls rank 27th (3.8).
- Boston is third in the NBA with 6.9 steals allowed per game while Chicago is fifth with 7.0 steals allowed per game.
- Chicago ranks 16th in fast break points per game (11.1) while Boston ranks 25th (9.5).
- Chicago is 16-13-2 ATS at home, while Boston is 21-9 ATS on the road.
- In 30 road games, the Celtics have 15 overs, 14 unders and 1 push.
- The Bulls have 17 unders and 14 overs in 31 home games.
- Chicago is 6-5 when they allow under 100 points, while Boston is 28-3.
- When reaching 100 points, the Celtics are 33-9 and the Bulls are 19-20.
- The Bulls rank 26th in points in the paint per game (41.3) while the Celtics rank 29th (39.3).
- Boston ranks fourth in assists allowed per game (20.7) while Chicago ranks 28th (25.4).
- The Celtics rank sixth in three pointers attempted per game (31.4) while the Bulls rank 28th in three pointers allowed per game (31.5).
- The Bulls are 27th in the league with 14.6 points off turnovers per game while the Celtics are 28th with 14.6 points off turnovers per game.
- Boston ranks ninth in rebounds per game (44.2) while Chicago ranks 29th in rebounds allowed per game (45.7).
- Chicago is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Boston is 4-1 ATS with 4 overs.
- The Bulls average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 8.6, up from 6.1 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Celtics have scored an average of 118.8 points per game (14.4 above their season average) and allowed an average of 107.4 points per game (7.2 above their season average).