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The national media make their Bucks-Bulls series predictions

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In case you have been living under a rock, allow me to catch you up to speed: The Milwaukee Bucks are in the playoffs and they will face their rival (not really, but...maybe?)  in the Chicago Bulls in the first round.

We've started and will continue to cover this series extensively, but you're probably already tired of us biased bozos. What do the big wigs, the national media think of this series? Well, let's take you through a handful of them.

CBS Sports

Predction: Bulls in 6.

"I just can't trust the Bulls to put a team away in the playoffs. They let teams hang. I'm waiting for them to prove me wrong. I can't trust the Bucks to score enough to win this thing, but their formula of defense and transition athleticism reminds me, ironically, of the Bulls' first-round series vs. the Celtics in 2009. But that team had young and healthy Derrick Rose. Antetokounmpo isn't on that level, at least not yet."

Matt Moore also highlights Pau Gasol as a pretty clear X-factor, but is skeptical that the Bulls have a higher gear that is capable of putting this series away quickly.

Pro Basketball Talk (NBC Sports)

Prediction: Bulls in 5

"Milwaukee has had tremendous success on the defensive end, for which Jason Kidd deserves a lot of credit. But the early-season knee injury to Parker torpedoed their offense, which is the sixth-worst in the league. Of their players with over 1,000 minutes, only John Henson shot over 50 percent from the field, and the only 40-percent three-point shooter on the roster is Khris Middleton. They traded the best outside shooter on the team, Brandon Knight, for a point guard who can't shoot at all in Michael Carter-Williams. The Bulls' defense fell off from previous seasons, but it's still top-11 and should be well up to the task of containing the Bucks' nonexistent offense. If the Bucks hope to pull off an upset, they have to manufacture points somewhere, and looking up and down their roster, it's difficult to say where that will be."

Sean Highkin shares the same concerns as most of us have had for a while: where will the Bucks offense come from?

Sports Illustrated

Prediction: Bulls in 5

"But it's Carter-Williams, liberated from the experiment in Philadelphia, who will have the ball in his hands (his 25.4% usage rate leads the team post-All Star break) and the most to prove in his playoff debut. Carter-Williams will need to push Rose on both ends and open the floor for shooters to give the Bucks a chance. He's just 23, but Carter-Williams's prospect shine has largely worn off, as he's yet to show anyone he can shoot the ball himself. Don't expect a barrage of jumpers to fall, but the former Rookie of the Year could alter some perceptions with a strong performance."

Jeremy Wood's preview is pretty detailed, listing the case for a win for each team and a telling stat, among the usual categories. His X-factor is interesting, too. Is MCW the X-factor in this series?

Sporting News

Prediction: Bulls in 5

"The Bucks don't have a superstar player, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael Carter-Williams are exciting young athletes. They may not be on the big stage yet, but they have potential and can create highlight plays."

Too much talent and too much experience puts the Bulls on top, writes Jordan Heck.

Yahoo Sports

Prediction: Bulls in 5.

"Probably more interesting to think about than to experience. It will be nice to see Rose back in the playoffs for the first time since he tore his ACL in Game 1 of the 2012 first round, Antetokounmpo is one of the most watchable players in the NBA, and the Bucks defense can be really fun at its best. But this figures to be the lowest-scoring series of the first round notablly primarily for involving a veteran squad looking to work its way back into form. Meanwhile, the Bucks have already been a success and don't seem primed for an upset. Expect some ugliness."

Expect some ugliness? WE EMBRACE IT, ERIC FREEMAN.

Prediction: Bulls in 5

"It makes for a topsy-turvy atmosphere, with the home team booed and the visitors cheered, something Bucks players obviously don't appreciate. But short of restricting ticket sales by zip codes, a la the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning, or buying up the lower bowl themselves (as O.J. Mayo kiddingly suggested) there's not much they can do to stop it, given the secondary market. Milwaukee's best weapon in shutting up Bulls fans? Play blowout-well."

Ah yes, the ol' United Center North topic, per Steve Aschburner. Hey, our own Frank and Steve talked about this very topic on a podcast today (at the bottom of this post)! Give it a listen.

Prediction: Bulls across the board

"Sloppy. Just a guess here, but the Bucks do force the most turnovers of any team in the league, and the Bulls do have a Derrick Rose who's still working his way back. And both teams are in the top five in field goal percentage against, so even if it's not sloppy, there's not much of a chance it'll be pretty. Bulls in six."

Per Israel Gutierrez, one of the members of ESPN's 5-on-5 preview. Is their some rule where the first team to get over 100 in the series wins automatically? Just curious.

The Friendly Bounce (HP network)

Prediction: None!

I joined Jack Maloney for this preview to take a little more enjoyable look at the series. It's filled with Vines, emojis, and just a tiny bit of analysis. Enjoy!

Hardwood Paroxysm

Prediction: None, really

"There's no way of telling whether this roster was put together the way it was totally in thanks to Kidd, or some combination of someone on his staff, himself and Bucks GM John Hammond, but it is unprecedented. This Bucks team is insanely long, and although we've only seen the stratagem pay off on one side of the court, we're only a year into the experiment and we get an early preview of how it might fare come the most important time of year. I can't wait."

An excerpt from David Vertsberger, one of the many HP writers that helped break down this series. Other features in this preview are set breakdowns from Jack Maloney, written analysis, and a podcast preview (including me!) So check that out for sure.

So it looks like everyone's picking the Bulls, which is fine. But do the Bucks have a chance? Well according to these projections, the Bucks have a 31.3 percent chance of winning. That's not impossible.

Also, what are the Bucks highest odds for winning in that series?

Bucks in 6. Of course.