- The Chicago Bulls travel to face the Indiana Pacers at 7pm ET on Friday, Feb. 4th
- The Bulls enter the game at 32-19 overall, while the Pacers come in at 19-34 on the year
- See below for the latest odds, analysis and the best bet
A pair of Eastern Conference teams will square off on Friday, Feb. 4th at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis when the Chicago Bulls visit the Indiana Pacers.
Chicago enters the game at 32-19 on the year and is 5-5 in its last 10 games, currently tied with the Miami Heat for the top seed in the East. The Bulls are coming off of a 127-120 loss in overtime to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday in Toronto.
Indiana comes into the contest at 19-34 overall and is 4-6 in its last 10 games, sitting near the bottom of the Eastern Conference as the 13th seed. The Pacers most recently fell in a close 119-118 contest to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in Indianapolis.
Going into the game, the Bulls are listed as 2.5-point favorites over the Pacers.
Bulls vs Pacers Odds
|Chicago Bulls||-2.5 (-110)||-138||Over 232.5 (-110)|
|Indiana Pacers||+2.5 (-110)||+118||Under 232.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Feb. 3rd from FanDuel
Road Back-to-Back for Bulls
As impressive as Chicago has been this season to surge up the conference standings, the Bulls have been around the .500 mark all season long in road contests with a record of 13-13, most recently dropping an overtime contest in Toronto Thursday, now having lost four of the last five road games.
On top of that, the Bulls will also be taking part in a tough road back-to-back after an overtime game, traveling from Toronto to Indiana to take the court against the Pacers on Friday. So far this season, Chicago has played in 10 games on zero night’s rest, carrying a record of 6-4 on the back end of back-to-backs.
The Bulls have been consistent in those games on offense, but the defense is where they have taken a hit while giving up 111.8 points per game to opposing teams during that span.
Chicago is also dealing with a banged-up roster, which won’t help its cause when depth is needed especially on the back end of back-to-backs such as this. Lonzo Ball (meniscus tear), Alex Caruso (wrist), Derrick Jones Jr. (finger) and Patrick Williams (wrist) have remained out for the Bulls, with Zach LaVine also not 100% while dealing with back spasms.
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Pacers Struggling in Second Half
Indiana has struggled defensively all season long, holding the 25th-ranked defensive rating (112.6) in the NBA. That will be an issue for the Pacers against the Bulls, who have a top-five offense in the league ranking fourth in offensive rating (113.1).
To put fuel on the fire of Indiana’s defensive struggles, those issues have led to the Pacers giving up leads in the second half of games, with the most recent case being in a blown lead against Orlando in Wednesday’s loss. Over the last five games, Indiana has been one of the worst defensive teams in the second half of games, giving up a NBA-worst 64 points to opposing teams over the final two quarters.
During that span, which has resulted in a 2-3 record, the Pacers have allowed opponents to shoot 48.9% from the field (fourth-worst in the NBA) and 40.2%from three (third-worst in the NBA).
Indiana’s Achilles heel this season has been its play on the defensive end of the floor. And while going up against a talented Chicago squad, those struggles might end up continuing.
Bulls vs Pacers Pick
It will be interesting to see what type of game takes place on Friday night between these two conference opponents, and it could be a closer contest than some expect. Still, expect the Bulls to fight through a banged-up roster while on a back-to-back to come into Indiana and take down the Pacers on their home court.
For the best bet of the night, look at placing a bet on the over/under listed, which is 232.5 leading up to tip-off. With all of the factors mentioned earlier for both teams going into this contest, they will likely come up short of that total line set.
- The Pick: Under 232.5 (-110)
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