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Celtics Set to Extend OVER Streak in Chicago

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics are favorites visiting the Chicago Bulls.

The Boston Celtics now control their fate in their quest to avoid a first-round NBA play-in game. The Chicago Bulls, on the other hand, are at the mercy of other teams in their hopes of reaching the postseason. The Celtics (35-31 SU, 32-34 ATS) come in as modest favorites for Friday’s encounter with a Bulls team (27-39, 33-32-1 ATS) that is a long shot to make it to the playoffs.

Boston Celtics vs Chicago Bulls
  • Date/Time: May 7, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: United Center
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Celtics -3 | O/U 221.5 (Line History)
  • Celtics vs Bulls Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Boston opened as a 3-point favorite but is now listed at -4 at the majority of sportsbooks. The total of 221.5 has risen into the 222-223 range, with most oddsmakers setting the number at 222.5.

Boston News & Notes

The Celtics and Miami Heat are tied for the sixth and final automatic Eastern Conference playoff berth – but Boston has the edge in the tiebreaker with a 107-105 win in their first meeting of the season. The Celtics can clinch the win in that tiebreaker scenario with a split of their upcoming two-game series with the Heat on May 9 and 11 at TD Garden.

First up: An opportunity to atone for an ugly 102-96 loss to the Bulls in their previous meeting back on April 19. Boston shot decently from the field in that one (46.8 percent from the floor, 40 percent from three-point range) but committed 17 turnovers in the defeat and was positively dreadful in the middle stages, scoring 18 points in each of the second and third quarters.

Chicago News & Notes

First, the good news: The Bulls are just one spot out of the coveted play-in game in the East. Now, the bad: they’re a whopping 3.5 games back of the 10th-place Washington Wizards with just six games left to play, meaning they’ll need to go on a red-hot season-ending run and get plenty of help from the Wizards’ remaining opponents.

If that weren’t daunting enough, three of the Bulls’ final six games will come against the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets, both of whom are expecting to make deep playoff runs. That makes Friday’s showdown all the more important – so look for the Bulls to try to duplicate the formula they used last time out vs the Celtics, which included a heavy dose of Nikola Vucevic.

Betting Pick: OVER 222.5 (-110)

The Celtics are on a six-game OVER streak coming into this one, and will almost certainly look to push the tempo more than they did in that humbling loss to the Bulls in mid-April.

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Shark Bites
  • The Celtics are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games.
  • The Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their past 5 games.
  • The UNDER is 11-2 in Chicago’s last 13 home games.