NBA Betting News and Notes Tuesday, February 25

NBA Betting News and Notes Tuesday, February 25

Game of the Day: Bulls at Hawks
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Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks (-1, 188)

The Chicago Bulls have persevered through numerous injuries to key players more adeptly than the Atlanta Hawks, which is why the teams have passed one another while heading in opposite directions in the Eastern Conference standings. The Hawks will try to narrow the gap by one game when they host the Bulls on Tuesday. Chicago, which is in fourth place in the East, has won four straight in the series including the first two meetings this season.

The Hawks are expected to be without forward Paul Millsap (knee), further depleting a frontcourt that is already missing its top three centers in Al Horford, Pero Antic and Gustavo Ayon, but they won without Millsap on Saturday, beating New York 107-98 to snap an eight-game skid. "It was very important," forward Mike Scott told reporters. "We were down Paul, down so many bodies. It was just great for everyone to come out and play hard and finally get a win." The Bulls also have endured their share of injuries, most notably losing point guard Derrick Rose for another full season, and Jimmy Butler missed Sunday's 93-79 loss at Miami with a rib injury and is considered questionable to return against the Hawks.

LINE HISTORY: Early lines in Las Vegas had this game listed pick'em but adjusted their suggested spread to Bulls -2 with Paul Millsap out. The total was sent out at 187. Online shops opened Atlanta as high as -2 but that was bet down to -1. The total opened at 188 points.

POWER RANKINGS: Bulls (-7.0) - Hawks (-6.0) + Home Court (-3.0) = Hawks -2.0

INJURY WATCH: Bulls - Jimmy Butler (Ques. - Ribs), HAWKS - Paul Millsap (Out, Knee)

WHAT SHARPS SAY: "The Bulls are down but certainly not out following Sunday's beatdown at the hands of the King James-less Heat. Keep in mind, this is a team that had won five games in a row both SU and ATS heading into that contest. They're still playing some of their best basketball of the season - evidenced by the fact that they've allowed 93 points or less in six consecutive games. The Hawks just snapped an eight-game skid, but could have one eye on a tough six-game road trip that begins on Wednesday night in Boston. It's Bulls or nothing for me in this one." - Sean Murphy.

WHAT BOOKS SAY: "Expect us to need the Hawks, as Bulls have covered both games versus Atlanta this season. Also, Atlanta is just 1-7-1 ATS past nine games, while Chicago has covered five of six." -- Mike Perry, Sportsbook.

ABOUT THE BULLS (29-26 SU, 27-28 ATS, 22-33 O/U): Chicago has been a streaky team and strung together its third five-game winning streak of the season before falling to Miami. The Bulls were less than thrilled with their effort against the Heat, who were without LeBron James (broken nose) but still held Chicago to 35 percent shooting. Center Joakim Noah and forward Taj Gibson combined for 40 points and 35 rebounds against Miami and will look to duplicate their performance in the last meeting with Atlanta, in which they combined for 43 points and 28 boards.

ABOUT THE HAWKS (26-29 SU, 27-27-1 ATS, 34-21 O/U): Atlanta, which has steadily slid down the Eastern Conference standings since the brunt of the injuries hit, is tied for seventh with Charlotte but still has a 3.5-game cushion over ninth-place Detroit. It's remarkable the Hawks are still in the mix considering they've used 16 different starting lineups — including a different one in each of the last six games. Scott has been the latest player to emerge, as the second-year forward has scored 20 and 30 points in the past two games.

TRENDS:

* Bulls are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Under is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings.
* Favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

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