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DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls take on the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night.

Chicago (28-15 SU, 25-18 ATS) has struggled without Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball in the lineup, and the Bulls will be without them again when they visit the Bucks (28-19, 21-26). Milwaukee will be a popular choice in most bettors’ Bulls vs Bucks predictions, opening as 10.5-point favorites.

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Bulls vs Bucks Odds & Analysis

Opening Odds 

The absence of LaVine and Ball might make a Bulls vs Bucks prediction seem easy, but oddsmakers have certainly factored it into the betting line. Milwaukee opened as a 10.5-point favorite before early action on the Bulls drove the spread down to 9 by the time of writing.

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Chicago Has Struggled Recently On Road, Won’t Have LaVine Or Ball

The Bulls will still be without two of their top guns as they look to snap out of their recent 1-4 ATS funk on the road. LaVine, their second-leading scorer, won’t accompany the team on its three-game road trip in order to rest his sore left knee, and the team announced that Ball will miss the next six to eight weeks in order to get surgery on his left knee.

Chicago is 1-2 SU in its last three games without the two stars, snapping a four-game losing streak with Wednesday’s 117-104 home win over the Cavaliers. DeMar DeRozan paced the Bulls with 30 points while Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Alex Caruso chipped in nine points in 22 minutes, his first action since missing 13 games due to a sprained foot and then COVID-19.

Holiday Back For Bucks, Who Play Their Best When Facing Top Opponents

Even though Jrue Holiday played just 22 minutes on Wednesday, his return sparked the Bucks to just their third win in nine games. Milwaukee, which lost four of its six games when Holiday was sidelined by health and safety protocols and a left ankle injury, is now 17-3 SU when Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are all in the lineup.

Holiday didn’t start the game but came off the bench to finish each quarter, scoring nine points on 2-for-8 shooting from the field. George Hill started in his place at point guard, scoring 14, while Antetokounmpo and Middleton combined for 60 points.

Facing a red-hot Grizzlies team that had won 12 of its previous 13 games may have also brought out the best in Milwaukee, something that seems to happen when the Bucks face elite opponents. The Bucks are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or higher, worth noting when you make your Bulls vs Bucks prediction.

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Bulls: Keys To Cover

The absence of LaVine and Ball takes a lot of the scoring punch out of the Chicago lineup, so DeRozan and Vucevic will need to come up big once again offensively if the Bulls are going to have a chance at the upset. However, the bigger key will be how Chicago performs at the defensive end. The Bulls allowed an average of 127.3 points during their four-game losing streak but snapped the skid when they held Cleveland to 104 on Wednesday.

Bucks: Keys To Cover

Normally, you might fear a letdown from Milwaukee knowing that the Bulls are without two of their top players, but the Bucks should be focused on turning things around after their recent 3-6 SU and ATS slump. Milwaukee has also had its way with Chicago recently at Fiserv Forum, winning 12 of the last 13 meetings.

Odds Shark’s Computer Bulls vs Bucks Prediction: Bucks -9.5

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Shark Bites
  • Chicago is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 road games.
  • The UNDER is 5-2 in Milwaukee’s last 7 games.
  • Chicago is 1-12 SU in its last 13 vs Milwaukee.

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