Chicago Bulls (22-43) vs. Atlanta Hawks (20-46)
NBA: Sunday, March 11th, 2018, 3:30 PM ET | Phillips Arena
Line and Odds: Hawks -2.5
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Chicago (22-42) is coming off a 16 point loss at Detroit on Friday night. That loss was their 7th in their last 9 games. Besides a streak early where they won 7 in a row and 10 our of 13 games, the Bulls have been bad. They are definitely looking to get a good draft pick and it has been reported recently that the league has had discussions about their lineup and if they are openly tanking. Two of their better players, Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday, have both been inactive since the all-star break. The Bulls have stated they are just trying to see how their younger guys respond to more minutes, but lets be real they don’t really want to win too many more games so they can get a good draft pick. They have not been very good to begin with and when you sit your better players they become even worse. Zach Lavine is the Bulls leading scorer at 16.7 ppg.
Atlanta (20-46) come into this game losers of 2 straight and 9 of 12. The Hawks have not won more than 2 games in a row all year and they have only done that 3 times. They are in the same boat as the Bulls in that they probably do not want to win many more games so they can improve their draft positioning. They are led in scoring by Dennis Schroder at 19.2 ppg. As a team they are 22nd in the league in scoring at 103.3 ppg. Defensively they are 23rd in the league giving up 108.3 ppg. They are not a very good basketball team and are definitely looking for the future. The only drama in their season is what their odds will be in the draft lottery after the season.
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How do you bet on a game in which two teams probably do not want to win? Both of these teams are better off losing this game and pretty much the rest of their games this year. So you need to look at which team acts like they are trying to play hard and win more than the other. The Bulls are awful on the road only winning 7 games this year away from home. But they have won both of the previous meetings with the Hawks this year. But that was before they started “resting” their better players. Fifteen of Atlanta’s 20 wins have been at home, so at least they have that going for them. But they are still under .500 at home. Picking this game is not an easy one but for some reason I think the Bulls are playing a little better than the Hawks. But that is not saying much as neither team is playing well. I think the Bulls will have more life and get their 8th road win of the year. Take the Bulls in this one.