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Hawks-Bulls Odds, Advanced Stats Preview & +EV Pick

The NBA play-in tournament is here, and we’ll get a battle between the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls for the right to keep their seasons alive. The best-case scenario for either team is a date with the Boston Celtics, which, well, yikes. Let’s dive into the Hawks-Bulls odds as we get into our advanced stats-driver preview and make a pick with positive expected value (+EV). If you’re hungry for more NBA content, check out our full play-in tournament preview, our guide to +EV NBA betting or our NBA betting model’s picks.

Hawks-Bulls Odds, Advanced Stats Preview & +EV Pick

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Hawks-Bulls Odds

Odds via BetMGM
ATL ML: +125 | CHI ML: -155
ATL +3.5: -115 | CHI -3.5: -105
Over 221.5: -110 | Under 221.5: -110
Live Hawks-Bulls odds

Hawks-Bulls Preview & +EV Pick

I really liked the Atlanta Hawks heading into this season, largely because of Quin Snyder getting a full offseason to work with this team, the addition of Saddiq Bey and the development of Onyeka Okongwu. The Hawks struggled all season, the latter players are on the shelf for this one, and I’m on the Bulls for this one.

I could justify backing the Bulls in this spot through several methods, but the best is probably just by talking about Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. The backcourt duo does not work well together. Atlanta’s best three-man lineup combo with Young and Murray (and 500-plus minutes) is Young-Murray-Clint Capela at -4.9. The best defensive rating that a three-man Young-Murray lineup combo recorded was a brutal 118.2!

Oh, and by the way, the team’s best three-man lineup combo overall was Bogdan Bogdanovic-Bey-Okongwu at +7.3, so I don’t feel that bad about being wrong about the Hawks this season… I’m definitely not coping.

The second-best justification for betting on the Bulls in this play-in game is their clutch net rating. Atlanta ranks a dismal 26th in clutch net rating (-12.8) while Chicago ranks an impressive second (+23.5). As far as individual players go, Young (-19.9) was terrible, largely because of his impotent clutch defensive rating (127.5). Only Okongwu (+5.3) was above zero. All five of Chicago’s recent starters, Dosunmu, White, Caruso, DeRozan and Vucevic, sport clutch defensive ratings of 97.1 or lower.

Finally, while I already went after Atlanta’s bad top lineup options, Chicago has a few good ones. While the best DeMar DeRozanNikola Vucevic combo, Ayo Dosunmu-DeRozan-Vucevic, clocks in a concerning +1.3 in net rating, it’s one of five lineups above zero with 500-plus minutes. The Hawks have four lineups above that threshold, and again, none that feature both Young and Murray.

Hawks-Bulls EV Pick: Chicago ML -155 at BetMGM
For the best price currently available, check out our NBA live odds page!

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