After winning back-to-back games for the first time since November, the Charlotte Hornets have dropped two straight and will host the Bulls tonight at home. We’ll preview the game before reviewing my best prop play in this one.
The Chicago Bulls seem to be allergic to winning four straight games, as they entered their last game against the Pacers on a three-game win streak, and after mounting a big lead at halftime, they were outscored 70 to 48 in the second half and handed their 25th loss of the season.
During their recent ten-game stretch, the Bulls went 6-4, which gave them the fifth-best NET rating in that span. The success mainly stemmed from the defensive end, as Chicago had a defensive efficiency rating of 110.8 and held opponents to a 45.7% shooting percentage, which was the 4th lowest in the league.
On the offensive end, the Bulls ended that ten-game stretch ranked 19th in offensive efficiency rating, but Zach Lavine did manage to average 27.1 PPG in that span. Regardless of the outcome of their last game, Chicago’s players likely rolled out of bed this morning and started doing somersaults, knowing they’re playing a Hornets team that was ranked dead-last in the league in defensive efficiency over the last ten games.
The Hornets have allowed 117 or more points in seven of their last ten games while allowing opponents to shoot 48.8% from the field. Opposing teams have recently found even more success from behind the three-point line, as Charlotte is allowing a 41.3% three-point percentage, the third-worst in the league.
Offensively the only area in which Charlotte has been productive as of late is scoring in the paint, as over their last ten games, 50.3% of their scoring came from inside the paint. Due to all the injuries, they are currently dealing with, Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier have been handling the bulk of the scoring on a nightly basis.
For my play in this game, I’ll be targeting the assist market, as I’ll be taking Nikola Vucevic over 3.5 assists at (-135). The Chicago big man is averaging 4.9 assists per game over his last ten games, and, in that stretch, he has gone over his prop total in nine of the games.
Chicago will be playing a Hornets team tonight, allowing an average of 28.8 assists per game over their last ten games, which is the third most in the NBA. On the season, Charlotte now ranks dead last in the league in assists allowed per game, and in their most recent game, they let the Suns dish out 38 assists. In that game against Phoenix, the Suns’ center Bismack Biyombo has four assists, despite averaging .9 per game this season.
Vucevic is an integral part of the Bulls' offense and helps create more open looks for Zach Lavine and Demar Derozan, who should have no problem knocking down their shots tonight. Overall, I think this is the perfect match-up for Vucevic, and he’ll be able to go over his total for the seventh straight game.
Nikola Vucevic Over 3.5 Assists (-135)