Chicago Bulls vs. Charlotte Hornets tips off this Wednesday (01/31/24) at 7:00pm EST in Charlotte North Carolina as a home game for the Hornets. Get Chicago Bulls vs. Charlotte Hornets predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on the Bulls -4.5 as they look to bounce back after last night’s loss.
Chicago Bulls Vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction
With today’s current state of the NBA, schedule spots are more important than ever as teams have gotten away with being disinterested in certain circumstances. One of those instances is when they are on the second half of a back-to-back, normally serving as a spot to rest players. To make matters worse, opt outs can happen at the last minute so it’s worth monitoring lineup news all the way until tipoff. Luckily for the Bulls, they seem to be at full strength for who is available while the Hornets may be without LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges.
The loss of LaMelo Ball seems to be more likely as the spread has climbed from -2.5 to -5 in the Bulls favor. That is a massive blow for their scoring efforts, losing their leading scorer who averages 23.9 points per game as well as tacking on eight assists as well. Without LaMelo, the Hornets lack a true facilitator which may stagnant an offense that already ranks 28th in Offensive Efficiency per TeamRankings. That bodes well for Chicago’s defense who is conceding an Opposing Effective Field Goal Percentage of 59.4% in their last three contests.
As for the Bulls offense, facilitating has been a strength for their offense as they have crept up to 15th in Assists to Turnover Ratio. They keep possessions alive as they attack the middle and are now in a position to shred a weak Charlotte defense who ranks dead last in Defensive Efficiency. Scoring still poses an issue as they lack consistency from the perimeter, yet they should see an uptick in the quality of looks as they attack the rim. Much like the impact of Charlotte’s injuries, this is not a play should the Bulls rest DeMar DeRozan.
Chicago Bulls Vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction: Chicago Bulls -4.5
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Chicago Bulls Vs. Charlotte Hornets Best Odds
Even in the second half of a back-to-back, oddsmakers still lean towards the Bulls favor by opening them as a -2 favorite. With reports saying LaMelo Ball may sit this one out, bettors have backed the Bulls up to as high as -5 in some shops. Losing LaMelo is a big loss for their offense, most likely now not being able to keep up with the Bulls scoring pace.
As for the total, oddsmakers believed points would be scored at a sluggish rate as they opened the number at 218.5. Bettors believe points will come at a slightly slower pace, betting the under down to as low as 215.5 as of writing. This is correlated with the Hornets potential opt outs, slowing down their scoring rate to the benefit of the under.
Chicago Bulls Starting Lineup
Charlotte Hornets Starting Lineup
Chicago Bulls Vs. Charlotte Hornets Injuries
Big names dominate the injury reports as Zach LaVine is already listed as out for the Bulls while LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges are listed as doubtful for the Charlotte Hornets.
Chicago Bulls Vs. Charlotte Hornets Key Matchups
Can the Bulls limit the Hornets interior looks at the rim?
Bulls Interior Defense Vs. Hornets Offense
Without LaMelo, the Hornets may rely on a heavier dose of interior offense as the lack of facilitation hurts their chances of creating separation at the arc. That makes for an intriguing matchup as the Bulls rank first in lowest Opponent Two Point Rate per TeamRankings.
LaMelo Ball finds Brandon Miller for the alley-oop 🔥pic.twitter.com/3EtjKjT0V9
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) January 25, 2024
With Patrick Williams already ruled out, the Bulls may give Andre Drummond more minutes to help bolster their interior defense. The Hornets lack scoring at their big man positions, revolving their scoring around their forwards. With Drummond and Nikola Vucevic anchoring the paint, the quality of looks at the rim for the Hornets will decrease which hampers their ability to generate consistent scoring.
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