At first glance it looks like taking the points is a solid wager in the February 20th Hornets at Bulls betting pick. Not that Charlotte is any better than Chicago, but there’s so much unpredictability in the 1st game back from the all-star break, especially when just 1/2 a game separates the two teams in the East.
The Bulls went into the all-star break on a 6-game losing streak. Charlotte has won their last two, but both teams are 3-7 over the last 10. Nonetheless oddsmakers have set Chicago as a -5 point home favorite in this one with a total of 210 which would suggest a defensive struggle.
Hornets Health Situation Something to Monitor
One would imagine that after a lengthy layoff for the all-star break, teams would start to be getting close to full strength. That’s an important question for Charlotte as Cody Zeller (face) and Terry Rozier (knee) missed the last game before the layoff but should be healthy for the February 20th Hornets at Bulls betting pick.
Thursday’s matchup is an interesting one because both teams are atrocious defensively vs. post players. At the same time, neither squad really has an effective scorer on the blocks and rely moreso on back court play. Devonte’ Graham had 26+ in 2 of his last 4 and double digit assists in 3 of his last 5 prior to the break.
Miles Bridges should also have momentum after winning MVP in the Rising Stars Challenge over the weekend – in Chicago coincidentally. Graham as well as P.J. Washington also played in that game so the Hornets are much less rusty than the Bulls who were largely idle on their home court over the break.
Is a Break What Chicago Needed?
The Windy City was a great host to all-star weekend but fans shouldn’t get used to good basketball being played on the United Center floor. The hometown Bulls lost 6 straight heading into the layoff while allowing 125+ points in 4 of their last 5.
The good thing for Chicago ahead of the February 20th Hornets at Bulls betting pick is that Charlotte isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut. The Hornets have been held to 100 points or less in 6 of the last 10 and rank dead last in the league in scoring at just 102.9 ppg. This means the Bulls do not have to be great to cover the -5 point spread.
Despite the layoff, Chicago is still likely a few men down as Wendell Carter, Jr. (ankle), Lauri Markkanen (pelvis), Otto Porter, Jr. (foot) and Kris Dunn (knee) remain sidelined. These injuries have turned Zach LaVine into essentially a one-man team with 32 and 41 points the last two games prior to the break. Is that a sustainable approach?
February 20th Hornets at Bulls Betting Pick
This game has trap written all over it as the Bulls likely return from the break with a skeleton crew and pull off a 12 point win somehow. That being said, the value is on the Hornets. Charlotte has some star-studded players in Graham, Rozier, and Bridges while Chicago seems to be biding time until they “Beilein” their front office.
Pick: Charlotte Hornets +5