Indiana Pacers vs Chicago Bulls Prediction and Preview - 11/22/2021

by James Q

Sunday, Nov 21, 2021

Indiana Pacers vs Chicago Bulls Prediction and Preview - 11/21/2021

Game Time: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, November 22nd, 2021
Venue: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Where to Watch:  NBA League Pass, Local Cable in markets

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

FanDuel:  Spread: Bulls -3.5; Over/Under:  208.5 points
BetMGM:  Spread: NA; Over/Under:  
Caesars:  Spread:  NA; Over/Under:  
VegasInsider: Spread : Bulls -3.5; Over/Under 208.5

Season Record

Pacers: 7-11, 13th place Eastern Conference
Bulls: 11-5, 3rd place Eastern Conference

The Pacers don’t take any possessions off.  The Pacers take good shots.  The Pacers enter most games as the underdogs.  The Pacers are a testament to playing as a team on both ends of the floor doesn’t matter as much as having great players.  The Pacers lineup doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of opponents.  They have a coach that came back from Dallas after having left more than a decade ago… They are struggling in the Central division… Their best player is Domanta Sabonis and while great, he is better suited as a 2nd option to a star guard.

The Bulls stopped surprising everyone after their 4 consecutive wins to open the season.  Over the offseason the Bulls went all in to  build a team around Zach Lavine and they seemingly got everything right…. Even down to signing Alex Caruso from the Los Angeles Lakers.  The offense is alive, PG Coby White is responding well to the competition from Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso.  A brand new thing is happening to the Bulls that hasn’t happened in a decade.  They get to the fourth quarter of most games with a lead.  Winning a game for the 2021 version of the Bulls is all about playing perimeter defense and relying on their depth.  It’s night and day from last season in Chicago… and it’s a good night.
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Indiana Pacers vs Chicago Bulls Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
The Pacers are 7-11 on the season, but 9-9 ATS.  They have logged 6 Overs and 12 Unders.  They are a lousy 2-9 in road games.  The Pacers won their last game against New Orleans
11-94.  Prior to that they had a 3-game losing streak to the Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons.
The Bulls are 11-5 on the season and 11-5 ATS.  They have notched 7 Overs and 9 Unders.  They are 5-2 at home.  The United Center is an upbeat place to see a game these days, the fans are cheering from tip-off to the final whistle.  Over the Bulls last seven games they have only lost 2… to the Portland Trailblazers and the Golden State Warriors.  

Offensive Analysis

The Indiana Pacers are 17th in the NBA in scoring with 107.2 per game. Bankers life fieldhouse has seen so many losses this season because the Pacers need to take care of the ball, they are 21st in the NBA in AST/TO ratio with a 1.5.  The numbers should balance out a bit as they work Caris LaVert back into the flow of things.  He had missed almost a full year of ball.
The Bulls are 11th in the NBA in points scored, they average 108.8 per game, they are 9th in ast/to ratio with 1.7.  They are having their best season in years offensively.  Coby White has been freed up by playing with the second unit.

Defensive Analysis

The Pacers are struggling on defense.  The front line of Sabonis and Myles Turner is a great pairing, but it isn’t working to the fullest right now.  The team is 19th in the NBA in rebounds.  You can feel Turner’s impact on the defensive end since the lowly Pacers are 1st in th eNBA in blocked shots 6.6 per game.  Myles of course doesn’t get all of them but he does pack the paint which forces opponents into bad shots that are blockable by any Pacer nearby. 

The Bulls have to take care of the rim better.  They are 28th in the league in rebounds with 43.6 per game and 20th in blocks with 4.8 per game.  The starters are a collection of offensively gifted players so the bench is going to have to step up and win some of these defensive battles.  They have had some trouble keeping big center Nikola Vucevic on the court because of nagging injury.  If they keep winning they should be fine.  Of course we have all heard the regular season is about offense and the Playoffs is about defense… so they need to step it up a bit.

Indiana Pacers vs Chicago Bulls Prediction

Our prediction for Monday November 22nd is…  Bulls 108 - Pacers 106

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NFL Betting Trends

Indiana is 5-2 ATS versus Chicago over the last 3 seasons.
Indiana is 3-0 ATS versus Chicago at Chicago over the last 3 seasons.
All 3 of 3 games in this series played at Chicago have gone Over in the last 3 seasons.


Key Injuries

Pacers: No injuries reported… even Caris LaVert has returned.  When Caris shakes off the rust the Pacers may be a better team.

Celtics: C Nikola Vucevic Out ** SF JaVonte Green day to day.

Starting Lineups

Pacers: PG Malcolm Brogdon, SG Justin Holiday, SF Caris LaVert, PF Domantas Sabonis, C Myles Turner

Bulls: PG Lonzo Ball, SG Alex Caruso, Sf Zach LaVine, PF DeMar DeRozan, C Tony Bradley

Statistical Leaders

Points: Malcolm Brogdon 21.2
Rebounds: Domantas Sabonis 11.1
Assists: Malcolm Brogdon 6
Steals: Domantas Sabonis 1.3
Blocks: Myles Turner 3

Points: Zach LaVine 26.8
Rebounds: Zach LaVine 5.6
Assists: Lonzo Ball 4.6
Steals: Alex Caruso 2.4
Blocks: Derrick Jones JR 1


Pacers: Rick Carlisle.  Coach Carlisle is an NBA gentleman.  He is an elder statesman.  He has an NBA championship ring.  Mark Cuban hired Coach Carlisle away from Indiana back when he needed a top notch coach… years and years later, Mark Cuban pushed Coach Carlisle out the door because he couldn’t properly mentor a teenager.  Coach Carlisle came back to the Pacers.  
Bulls: Billy Donovan.  Coach Donovan has two NCAA titles under his belt.  Coach Donovan has a keen sense of when to jump from a sinking ship… which is what he did when OKC was sinking and the rats were jumping.  He now has a great mix of young, current, and veteran NBA players in Chicago.  He will go deep into the playoffs if everyone stays relatively healthy.

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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