Celtics vs Bulls Odds, Picks, Predictions | NBA Betting Preview (Saturday, March 23)

Celtics vs Bulls Odds, Picks, Predictions | NBA Betting Preview (Saturday, March 23) article feature image

Pictured: Jaylen Brown of the Celtics and DeMar DeRozan of the Bulls for Action Network’s odds, picks, and predictions for Boston vs. Chicago.

  • Celtics vs Bulls odds have Boston as a 5-point favorite (-5), with the total set at 218.
  • Our Celtics vs Bulls pick and prediction is on the over/under.
  • Celtics vs Bulls starts at 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV on Saturday. Here's our betting preview.

Celtics vs. Bulls Odds

Saturday, Mar 23
8:00pm ET
Celtics Odds
-110o / -110u
Bulls Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Celtics vs. Bulls on Saturday, March 23 – our expert prediction and betting picks for today's game.

The Boston Celtics are on a roll again. They've won eight straight games, the longest active winning streak in the NBA.

Boston won comfortably in Detroit on Friday night, defeating the Pistons 129-102. It didn't matter that starters Jayson Tatum (ankle) and Jrue Holiday (shoulder) missed the game due to injuries.

While the decision to rule out Tatum might have come as a surprise, Holiday's absence was more than expected. After all, it was the third straight game he'd miss for the Celtics.

Both players are questionable for Saturday night's game in Chicago, though the official injury has yet to be released. With it being the second game of a back-to-back, teams aren't required to report their injuries until 1 p.m. local time.

The uncertainty around Tatum and Holiday could explain why our opening total (221 points) is lower than what we've seen in Celtics games this season.

Let's take a look at the best way to bet today's game in our Celtics vs. Bulls preview and pick.

Boston Celtics

There aren't too many injury report shenanigans with the Boston Celtics. Generally, if their players are healthy enough to play, you can pretty much expect them to be in uniform and ready to go.

The Celtics have played 70 games this season, and four of their five starters have featured in at least 60 of them. Center Kristaps Porzingis has played the fewest games (49) as the Celtics are taking a very conservative approach with his load management.

Despite being only 28, Porzingis has a history of injuries, so it's not surprising that the Celtics' management prefers to err on the side of caution.

Their other star players, who have been relatively healthy in recent years, are expected to be on the court.

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But with the Celtics coming up short in their quest for an NBA title in recent years, I sense they desperately want to avoid any chance of losing their rhythm. The worst thing for Boston would be for some doubt to creep in as they get set to mount another playoff run.

However, this roster is deep enough that it can still be productive, even if it's missing some starters. Payton Pritchard has filled in admirably in Holiday's absence, averaging 20.7 points and 6.3 assists in his last three games.

There hasn't been any notable drop-off in the Celtics' playing style. They're still playing their game and hunting for open 3-point shots. Per TeamRankings, Boston averaged 44.7 3-point attempts over their last three games with 18.7 3-point field goals.

It's worth noting that both numbers are higher than their season average (42.6 attempts/16.6 3-point field goals).

Therefore, given the Celtics' recent form, I'm not particularly interested in fading their offense at the moment.

Chicago Bulls

The fact the Bulls are even in the playoff mix is remarkable. They lost a second starter, Zach LaVine, after he underwent season-ending foot surgery while Lonzo Ball remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Yet, the Bulls (34-36) are ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, eight games ahead of the Nets, who are in 11th place.

The Bulls' season has been mixed compared to the previous campaign. Defensively, Chicago ranks 18th in efficiency, allowing 112.5 points per 100 possessions.

Last season, it finished fifth in defensive efficiency with 109 points allowed per 100 possessions.

Chicago's defensive struggles have clearly impacted its totals. In the 2022-23 season, the team went 46-38 (third-best ROI) to the under.

This season, the Bulls have the best ROI for over-bettors at 39-30-1 (56.5%). However, according to KillerSports.com, Chicago has the fourth-lowest average total at 222.3 points.

Given how the bookmakers are pricing these Bulls' totals, it's almost like there's still a carryover from last season.

Thus, bettors can take advantage of this market inefficiency and be even more aggressive when targeting Bulls' totals in this price range.

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Celtics vs. Bulls

Betting Pick & Prediction

The only thing that gave me a slight reason for pause in this matchup was the Celtics playing on short rest. As a result, I was interested in how the Celtics being on a back-to-back has affected their totals.

Using our Action Labs database, I queried Celtics' games that were bet up on short rest with an opening total between 221 and 225 points.

Overall, the total is 6-3 to the over in this spot; this season, the over is a perfect 2-0.

I ran my numbers for this matchup, and my model projects a total closer to 228 points.

It'll be interesting to see how high this total goes, but I imagine it could spike up even more with a favorable Celtics' injury report.

However, since I'd much rather get ahead of the move, I'll grab the Over 221.5 points while it's still available at BetMGM.

Pick: Over 221.5 

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