The team with the longest current win streak in the NBA, the Charlotte Hornets, hosts the Chicago Bulls in an Eastern Conference battle. We continue our NBA odds series with a Bulls-Hornets pick, prediction, and how to watch
Yes, the longest win streak in the NBA right now is three games, and three teams currently hold a three-game win streak. One of those three teams is the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets have won four of their last five, beating the Mavericks twice in that time frame. The Bulls come in on a two-game losing streak, in which they have given up over 120 points in each of them. Before this two-game skid, they had won seven of ten games. Still, the Bulls have a two-game lead on the Wizards for the final playoff spot, with six games left to play. A win tonight would be huge in clinching that spot.
Here are the Bulls-Hornets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Bulls-Hornets Odds
Chicago Bulls: -9 (-110)
Charlotte Hornets: +9 (-110)
Over: 224 (-110)
Under: 224 (-110)
How To Watch Bulls vs. Hornets
TV: Bally Sports SE
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Bulls Could Cover The Spread
The Bulls are led by their defense. They rank eighth in the NBA in points allowed per game at 112.5, eighth in defensive efficiency, and ninth in opponent field goal percentage this season. That has broken down in the last two games. Visiting the Clippers, the Bulls gave up 124 points and allowed the Clippers to shoot 59.3%, including 50% from the three-point arc. Nicolas Batum hit eight three-pointers on his own, to help the Clippers get the win. Against the Lakers, it was more of the same. They gave up 121 points while allowing the Lakers to hit 52.3% of their shots from the floor.
Javonte Green was limited to two minutes, and Andre Drummond as well as Alex Caruso were out in the last game and are potentially out tonight, but only Caruso has started games this year. Drummond has been solid off the bench with 6.7 rebounds per game, but the defensive failures in the past two games are far beyond just this injury set.
The Bulls have been just below their season average in points for the past two games. They are not a big-scoring team, averaging 113.1 points per game. DeMar DeRozan has become a primary assist-man, averaging over 5.5 rebounds per game on the month. Zach LaVine is still leading the team with 25.0 points per game, and Vucevic is third with 17.7. DeRozen sits between them at 24.9 points per game. All three have been playing right around those markers in the last ten games, and offensively there has not been a major change in recent games. Tonight, the Bulls need to return to their defensive roots. If they can slow down the Hornets, they should be able to grab a win.
Why The Hornets Could Cover The Spread
Somehow the Hornets have been solid recently. First, they have scored over their season average in three of the last five games. The big one was the 137 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their last game. In that game. P.J. Washington scored a career-high 43-points in the win. Washington has been a major part of this win streak, with four straight games above his season average including three straight over 21 points as they have won all of them. With Ball still out, and Oubre, Rozier, and Hayward all missing the last game, Washington stepped it up. That core may still be out, so Washington will have to keep it going.
Beyond Washington, Nick Richards has stepped it up, and been great on the boards, with two games of 11 rebounds, and a 14 and 17 rebound performance. With the core of the Hornets still out, others have been stepping up in spots as well. In the win over OKC, it was Theo Maledon got 19 points in the victory. The game before that had Hayward, but also Mark Williams stepped up and added 15 points. Finding players to carry the load will be huge for the Hornets to keep winning.
The Hornets have played their last four games against teams all fighting for playoff spots, who are all in need of a win, and yet have won three times. They have not let the pressure of the other team coming out strong get to them. It is an impressive streak, and if Washington keeps up his work, with another player to step up, they will win again.
Final Bulls-Hornets Prediction & Pick
There is no major logical reason the Hornets have been so good. They are playing with grit and determination in this streak. The Bulls need a win as well to make sure Washington does not catch them. If Rozier is still out, asking Washington to repeat his recent performance is going to be difficult. The Bulls get back to defense and get the win, but not without a major fight from the Hornets
Final Bulls-Hornets Prediction & Pick: Hornets +9 (-110)