2022 NBA Picks: Ahead of NBA Playoffs, It's Time to Worry About the Chicago Bulls

Eric Uribe
By , Updated on: Mar 16, 2022 12:00 AM
2022 NBA Picks: Ahead of NBA Playoffs, It's Time to Worry About the Chicago Bulls

Another Wednesday night, another jam-packed slate of 2022 betting odds on the NBA. Just as they always do following life after the NFL Super Bowl, the Association has stocked their March 16 schedule with more than a dozen games. Twenty-six of the league's 30 teams, in fact, are getting ready to take the floor Wednesday night. And you better believe we've bought our best NBA bets just for the occasion.

With that said, one team in particular is catching our eye. Ahead of the 2022 NBA playoffs, our latest batch of picks outlines why it's time to worry about the Chicago Bulls as they get ready to face the Utah Jazz. But first, like always, we must go over the freshest NBA betting odds:

FavoriteBovadaBovadaUnderdog
Philadelphia 76ers-178+150Cleveland Cavaliers
Denver Nuggets-240+198Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets-126+108Atlanta Hawks
Dallas Mavericks-130+110Brooklyn Nets
New York Knicks-720+520Portland Trail Blazers
Phoenix Suns-620+460Houston Rockets
Minnesota Timberwolves-405+320Los Angeles Lakers
San Antonio Spurs-950+640Oklahoma City Thunder
Utah Jazz-250+205Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks-450+350Sacramento Kings
Golden State Warriors-158+134Boston Celtics
Toronto Raptors-130+110LA Clippers

Though these NBA betting lines won't move much prior to opening tipoff, they can still shift right up until the start of every game. So make sure you're double-checking all odds on the NBA before committing to any specific picks.

And don't forget to browse our extensive reviews of the top online sportsbooks. These in-depth breakdowns are a necessity no matter the time of year, as they can help you identify the best NBA betting sites in 2022 and beyond.

The Bulls Are No Longer 2022 NBA Finals Contenders

While the Bulls wrapped up the first half of the season with some of the most alluring betting odds to make the NBA Finals, they have since experienced a monumental drop-off.

Injuries haven't done them any favors. Chicago only just got Alex Caruso back after an extensive absence, and they are still pushing forward without Lonzo Ball or Patrick Williams—two of their most important defenders.

Still, the Bulls have been touch-and-go against quality teams all season long. In fact, they have won fewer than five games against opponents with a .600 winning percentage or better. That screams "Paper Tiger!" when it comes to the championship discussion.

It also happens to imply that Chicago will have a tough time taking down the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Utah has navigated their own struggles in recent weeks, but their offense is thermonuclear and they get to play at home.

OSB Prediction: Utah Jazz (-250)

Utah Jazz To beat the Chicago Bulls
Bovada
-250

Philly Takes Advantage of a Shorthanded Cleveland Team

The honeymoon is over for the Philadelphia 76ers. Joel Embiid and James Harden are starting to show some awkwardness on the offensive end, and their perimeter defense has proven a touch slow against certain opponents in recent games.

This isn't to infer that you should worry. The Sixers will ultimately be fine and are probably still one of the three most likely teams to emerge from the Eastern Conference and make the NBA Finals. Benefit of the doubt is a luxury when you have two top-10 players on your team.

And even if you're not high on the Sixers, it's impossible not to like them against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. Cleveland's offense has lacked rhythm all season, and their defense has been thrown for a whirl following an injury to center Jarrett Allen.

OSB Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers (-178)

Philadelphia 76ers To beat the Cleveland Cavaliers
Bovada
-178

Atlanta Gets Their Act Together vs. Charlotte

Nobody should be in the business of trusting the Atlanta Hawks on a regular basis. Not only have they dealt with some bad injury luck, but their defense has by and large been a dumpster fire

In most matchups against prospective playoff teams, we'd be inclined to take the other side. But the Charlotte Hornets continue to be without Gordon Hayward, have changed the way in which they're deploying franchise cornerstone LaMelo Ball, and they have defensive problems of their own given a relative lack of size in the middle.

Color us surprised Atlanta isn't favored in this one. Take them at better-than-even money and run.

OSB Prediction: Atlanta Hawks (+108)

Atlanta Hawks To beat the Charlotte Hornets
Bovada
+108

Can the Lakers Pull Off Upset Over the Streaking Timberwolves

The Los Angeles Lakers have been among the worst bets against the spread this season, but they've been okay on moneyline wagers. That's why we're so shocked to see them enter as heavy underdogs vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Sure, the Timberwolves have been plucky over the past few weeks. But this +320 line on the Lakers is egregious. It assumes LeBron James isn't playing when he's actually questionable. We like rolling the dice on a 3.2-to-1 payout.

OSB Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers (+320)

Los Angeles Lakers To beat the Minnesota Timberwolves
Bovada
+320

Boston and Golden State will be Must-See Television

The Boston Celtics have officially entrenched themselves in the NBA title discussion with a suffocating defense. And unlike most teams, they have the roster makeup to hang with a full-strength Golden State Warriors squad.

However, the Warriors have Draymond Green back in the fold. And they've mostly been unbeatable when he's in the lineup, winning more than 70 percent of their games. We like their chances.

OSB Prediction: Golden State Warriors (-158)

Golden State Warriors To beat the Boston Celtics
Bovada
-158

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Meet the author

Eric Uribe

Eric was born and raised in Nevada — the center of gambling in the United States. Throw in his natural interest in sports, and Eric was destined to be a sports bettor. This came to a head once Eric turned 21. Already a working sports journalist while in college, Er...

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