On Friday, Jan. 4, the NBA is offering 10 games, including the Indiana Pacers (25-12 Overall, 11-7 Away) and the Chicago Bulls (10-28 Overall, 5-14 Home). Game time is 8:00 pm ET. The Pacers are second in the Central Division and third in the Eastern Conference 1.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors. The Bulls are fifth in the same conference and 13th in the East. Chicago is 17 games out of first in both the Central Division and the Eastern Conference. Our Chicago Bulls vs Indiana Pacers preview and pick has the visitors at -6.0. The over/under on the game is low, as it comes in at 202.5.
Recapping Recent Team Performance
The Pacers came out of the gate alternating wins and losses. In early December, they seemed to find their way. In the first two weeks of the month, they went 7-1 and through the entire month, Indiana was 12-3. They last played Dec. 31 beating the Atlanta Hawks 116-108. The Bulls started the season at 8-2. They have put together back-to-back wins just once this season. They are 4-6 for their last 10 games.
Starting Stats – PF/PA
The Pacers top out over the Bulls in most categories. Indiana is putting up on average 107.5 PPG, while the Bulls have been scoring an even 100.0. In terms of points allowed, Indiana is tops in the NBA limiting opponents to 101.1. Chicago is giving up 109.4. The PF/PA comparative differential for the Pacers/Bulls is +7.5 to -8.3, making a combined differential in the favor of Indiana at +15.8. The Pacers have a huge edge here.
Story of Two Defenses
The Pacers are outperforming the Bulls is every category of D. Along with allowing 8.3 fewer points per game than Chicago, they are +2.5 in RPG, +0.8 in BPG, and +1.4 in SPG. At the same time, when it comes to defending against an offense, the Bulls have their work cut out for them as the Pacers are a good three-to-four percentage points better in field goals, three-point shots, free throws, and two-pointers. Advantage in this category definitely goes to the Pacers. Their defense should not only keep the Bulls at bay, but it should also help to provide the foundation for the total to stay low.
Keys to the Game
- Bulls PG Zach LaVine needs to play on all cylinders
- Return of Pacers center Myles Turner anticipated
- Rebound battle huge and Pacers have advantage
- Indiana depth outmatches Chicago’s
- Pacers offensive rebound stats better than Chicago’s
Our Chicago Bulls vs Indiana Pacers Preview Pick
Indiana comes to this game running on all cylinders. They are also well-rested and 2-0 against Chicago this season. The Bulls have been struggling and their home record is dismal. Our Chicago Bulls vs Indiana Pacers preview is taking the visitors at -6.0. on the over/under, we are taking the under at 202.5. We’ve got another combo totals and spread pick for you, as the Bucks host the Hawks at 8:30 pm ET.