Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks Game 1 Pick – NBA April 17, 2022

The Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks open their seven-game series at the Fiserv Forum on Sunday evening. Chicago is hoping for the best with their backs up against a wall.

The Bulls enter as heavy underdogs in this one and for the series. This was a streaky team in the regular season. They’ve shown to get hot at times this season, so there’s a puncher’s chance.

That can be a good or bad thing for the playoffs. For a team like the Bulls against the Bucks, it’s probably a good thing that they’re steaky.

Just a steady, average performance is not good enough versus the Bucks. They have to go all-in and fire away, then hope for the best.

Chicago has gotten hot from the field and was one of the better shooting teams in the NBA in the regular season. They are going into the playoffs with a record of 46-36 after grinding to a halt near the end of the season.

The Bulls ran cold to close out the season. They had losses in four of their previous five games, with their only win a 124-120 final in the last matchup in the season finale.

That was against the Minnesota Timberwolves in a meaningless game for them, so yeah, that doesn’t count for much. They need to turn it on at the right time in the playoffs now.

It can be tough to flip a switch against a team like the Bucks. The defending champs are 51-31 and have three wins in their last four going into the postseason.

In their regular season finale, the Bucks conceded a 133-115 loss in a game that didn’t mean much against the Cavaliers. They sat their best talent on the bench to rest for the playoffs.

Head below for our free Bulls vs. Bucks Game 1 prediction on April 17, 2022.

Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks Game 1 Live Betting Odds:

The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:
Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Chicago Bulls +11 (-115) +435 Over 229.5 (-110)
Milwaukee Bucks -11 (-105) -635 Under 229.5 (-110)
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Team Data Chicago Bulls Milwaukee Bucks
Overall Record 46-36 51-31
ATS Record 42-39-1 39-43-0
Away/Home Record 19-22 27-14
ATS Away/Home 17-23-1 16-25-0
Points Per Game 111.6 115.5
Points Against Per Game 112.1 112.0
Field Goal % 48.3 46.8
Three Point % 36.9 36.6

Bulls vs. Bucks Prediction:

The Bulls have to force the issue on the Bucks in this game. If they’re going to sit back and allow the Bucks to bring the action to them, they might as well go back home to Chicago.

On a good day, the Bulls are capable of getting really hot from the field. They finished the regular season the third-best in the league with a 48% field goal percentage.

The Bulls can heat up from downtown, which is going to be a big factor in them staying close versus the Bucks. The Bulls shot 36.9%, with a three-point percentage going into the playoffs.

If there’s any spot to beat the Bucks, it has to be their defense. Milwaukee was not nearly as stout as last year.

The Bucks conceded 112.1 points per game for 19th in the NBA. This didn’t look like a championship defense often in the 2021-22 campaign.

There wasn’t much defensive improvement for the Bucks at home, where they allowed 111.1 points per game. In their last five attempts to end the regular season, the Bucks gave up 115.8 points a game on 47.2% shooting.

Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks Betting Trends:


  • 3-10 ATS in their previous 13 games on the road
  • 2-9 ATS in their previous 11 games on the roads as an underdog
  • OVER is 15-6 in their previous 21 games on a three-day break or more
  • OVER is 5-1 following their opponent scoring more than 100 points
  • OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games


  • 4-0 ATS in their previous four games as a betting favorite
  • 7-1 ATS in their previous eight games after failing to cover the spread
  • OVER is 6-0 in their previous six games
  • OVER is 20-8 in their previous 28 games as a betting favorite at home
  • OVER is 5-0 in their previous five games on a Sunday

However, the Bucks don’t need a stellar defense to beat teams in the playoffs. If Giannis and the offense are rolling, the Bulls and most other teams can’t slow them down.

Milwaukee is fifth in the league with 115.5 points per game. While the Bulls have a nice touch from beyond the arc, the Bucks can counter with a three-point percentage of 36.6%, the fifth-best in the league.

To close out the season, the Bucks notched 122.4 points per game with a 48.3% field goal percentage. It’s going to be tough on the Bulls’ defense.

This isn’t what they do well, and the defense progressively got worse. The Bulls allowed 124.8 points a game and 53.2% field goal percentage.

That’s not the best formula against a Milwaukee team that can steamroll the Bulls with Giannis on the inside. The intensity gets turned up in the playoffs, but this total still looks a touch too low.

A play on the total looks like the best bet in Milwaukee in Game 1. The point spread looks sharp, which I’m not considering. However, the OVER appears like a good option in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference matchup.


Bulls vs. Bucks Pick
OVER 229.5
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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