It took 21 days but the Bulls finally got their 1st win of 2019 on Monday with a 104-88 win over the Cavs. Did that contest show how good Chicago can be – or did it just prove how bad Cleveland is? The Hawks aren’t exactly league royalty, but they are 3.5 games ahead of the Bulls in the East as they visit the United Center in the January 23rd NBA free pick. The Hawks are just 3-7 over their last 10, but only +2 underdogs on Wednesday.
Atlanta Begins Lengthy Road Trip
With the Super Bowl coming to Atlanta, the Hawks have to go on the road for the next seven games. Atlanta is just 6-19 on the road this season and they come into Wednesday night’s game in a slump having dropped 3 of 4 recently at home. The Hawks most recent loss was a devastating one as they dropped a 19 point contest to the Magic as -2 home favorites. Some positives to come out of that loss could include C Dewayne Dedmon shooting 5-7 from three point range and Jeremy Lin scoring 15 off the bench?
Things might be looking bleak for Atlanta but they are up against one of the league’s worst offensive teams in the January 23rd NBA free pick. The Bulls defense isn’t exactly stellar either as they’ve allowed two opponents to score 135+ over the last 12 days. Trae Young has 20+ points in 3 of the last 4 and could present a huge mismatch for Chicago on Wednesday. Somebody needs to step up for the Hawks with Kent Bazemore still sidelined and now Kevin Huerter possibly missing a second straight game with a strained neck.
Bulls Go For Two in a Row?
The Carmelo Anthony era gets underway for Chicago on Wednesday as the team acquired the 10-time all-star on Tuesday. Granted, Anthony will never play for the Bulls and was only acquired as a salary dump but either way Chicago is in the news. The Bulls also finally broke their 10-game win streak on Monday afternoon in Cleveland. Zach LaVine had 25 points in 25 minutes in the 16-point Chicago win. The victory was a nice one for Chicago, but Cleveland is absolutely horrible. Either way, momentum is momentum.
Chicago has another advantage of already scoring a win in Atlanta this season. In that 97-85 victory at the end of October LaVine had 27 and Jabari Parker chipped in 18 off the bench. The Bulls got the win even though Atlanta was a -6 home favorite. Atlanta had Bazemore and Huerter available in that contest and still lost which doesn’t bode well for the rematch – especially on the road. Chicago is just 5-17 at home this season, and they’re also 1-4 ATS the last five.
January 23rd NBA Free Pick Betting
One thing going for Atlanta on Wednesday is the fact that the road team has gone 5-1 ATS the last six head to head meetings between these two teams. Unfortunately for the Hawks, they are 0-4 ATS the last four vs. Chicago overall. Bettors are kind of torn with 55/45 favoring Chicago. The Hawks are a bit shorthanded and the Bulls have momentum.
NBA Free Pick: Chicago Bulls -2