The Boston Celtics play four of their final six regular-season games on the road, beginning with a visit to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. The Celtics (35-31) answered a three-game losing streak by winning three of four, including a 132-96 romp over the Orlando Magic to move into a tie with the Miami Heat for the coveted No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. Boston has a back-to-back looming against Miami following Friday's matchup but cannot afford to look past the Bulls (27-39), who are clinging to long-shot hopes of earning a spot in the play-in tournament.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at the United Center. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Celtics as four-point favorites, while the over-under for total points scored is 224 in the latest Celtics vs. Bulls odds. Before you make any Bulls vs. Celtics picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,200 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,200 on its top-rated picks this season and entered Week 20 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 97-62 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Celtics vs. Bulls spread: Celtics -4
- Celtics vs. Bulls over-under: 224 points
- Celtics vs. Bulls: Celtics -175; Bulls +155
- BOS: The Celtics are 12-3 against the spread in their last 15 meetings against Chicago
- CHI: The Bulls allow the fourth fewest 3-point attempts (32.2)
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston had a six-game winning streak halted against the Bulls last month and one reason was committing 17 turnovers, primarily due to the absence of its top two ball handlers, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart. Walker was back in the lineup after missing four games due to a strained left oblique and he tied a season-high with 32 points in the rout of Orlando on Wednesday. He has hit 18 3-pointers and is averaging 27.5 points in his last four games.
With No. 2 scorer Jaylen Brown (ankle) set to miss his second straight game, forward Jayson Tatum will need a big night against the Bulls. The team's top scorer at 26.5 points per game, he had a triple-double (14 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists) last time against Chicago but struggled to a 3-of-17 shooting performance. Tatum is averaging 38.8 points over his last four games, including a franchise record-tying 60-point gem a week ago vs. San Antonio.
Why the Bulls can cover
Chicago got healthy overnight with the return of All-Stars Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine to the lineup and it showed in a lopsided 120-99 victory at Charlotte on Thursday night. The Bulls had failed to reach 100 points in their four previous games but put on an offensive clinic in scoring their highest total since a win at Toronto on April 8. LaVine sat out the April 19 win at Boston, but the Celtics had no answers for Vucevic (29 points, nine rebounds).
LaVine (COVID-19) played for the first time in 12 games Thursday and scored only 13 points -- less than half his season average -- but his presence had a ripple effect on the lineup. All five starters and seven players overall scored in double figures for Chicago, which recorded more than 30 assists for the 18th time. Vucevic showed no ill effects from sitting out the previous two contests, leading the way with a double-double (29 points, 14 rebounds).
How to make Bulls vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 218 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 60 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Celtics vs. Bulls? And which side of the spread hits over 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a roll on NBA picks.