Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls: Predictions, picks and odds for NBA Play-in Tournament

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles against Charlotte Hornets guard Tre Mann (23) during the first half at State Farm Arena.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles against Charlotte Hornets guard Tre Mann (23) during the first half at State Farm Arena.

The NBA Play-In Tournament is underway. While there are two spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs still up for grabs, the No. 9 seed Chicago Bulls and No. 10 seed Atlanta Hawks are fighting for an opportunity to claim the final spot. Only one of these teams can move forward, so each team must put their best foot forward if they want any chance of hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

The Hawks walk into this play-in game with a lowly 36-46 record. Outside of the 2022 New Orleans Pelicans, who reached the playoffs with the same record, that is the fewest wins of any postseason team in a full season since the 2004 Boston Celtics. And neither those Pelicans nor Celtics teams made it out of the first round. The deck seems to be stacked against the Atlanta Hawks, but that doesn't mean they should just roll over and give up.

While the Bulls have a 2-1 record over the Hawks this season, Atlanta won the most recent meeting 113-101 at the start of April. The Bulls were also a sub-.500 team at home this season. Unfortunately for Atlanta though, the Bulls are still one of the deeper sub-.500 teams in the league this year. They have four players averaging at least 18 points per game, and four more averaging at least ten.

Trae Young may be the best player on either side in this game, but the Bulls definitely have the advantage in terms of depth. Here's everything you need to know about this play-in matchup.

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Predictions for No. 10 Atlanta Hawks vs. No. 9 Chicago Bulls:

CBS Sports: Hawks (+3)

Jasmyn Wimbish writes, "I'm betting on Young to come alive against the Bulls. I think he's going to walk into this game wanting to prove something, and even with Alex Caruso likely draped all over him, I still think he will lead Atlanta to a win."

Sporting News: Bulls win

Stephen Noh writes, "Missing Jalen Johnson is going to hurt the Hawks a lot. He's been a candidate for Most Improved Player. (Chicago's Coby White should win the award). Johnson's versatility unlocks a lot of the unique things that Atlanta does on offense. The Bulls will also likely extend the minutes of their secret weapon, Alex Caruso. They are a completely different team when he's on the floor but can only throw him out there for under 29 minutes per game during the regular season because of the punishment he puts his body through. The Bulls are the slightly healthier team and can scale up for this game. These teams are even on paper, but I'll give the edge to the Bulls."

New York Post: Hawks team total OVER 108.5

Michael Arinze writes, "Chicago struggles to defend the perimeter, ranking 29th in opponent 3-point field goals, while Atlanta is sixth in 3-pointers made. Those numbers should work in the Hawks’ favor to surpass their team total of 108.5."

Bulls vs. Hawks: odds, lines for play-in matchup

The Chicago Bulls are favorites to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in Wednesday's play-in matchup, according to the BetMGM NBA odds. Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering sports betting promos in 2024.

Odds as of Tuesday afternoon.

  • Spread: Bulls (-3.5)

  • Moneylines: Bulls (-155); Hawks (+125)

  • Over/under: 221.5

How to watch Play-In Tournament Hawks vs. Bulls:

Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Time: 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT

Where: United Center in Chicago, Illinois


Stream: ESPN+

Watch the game: Stream the NBA Play-In Tournament with an ESPN+ subscription

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hawks vs. Bulls: Predictions and odds for NBA Play-In tournament game