Free NBA Picks: Bulls at Warriors Odds
by Alan Matthews - 2/5/2014
Well, it seems rather easy to handicap Thursday night's TNT nightcap between Chicago and Golden State in Oakland. If the score is in 80s, the Bulls likely will pull the upset. They are 29th in the NBA in scoring at 92.2 points per game and second in scoring defense at 92.8 ppg. The Warriors are 11th in scoring at 103.0 per game and 11th defensively at 98.9 per game.
It has been a lousy week for the Warriors franchise, so it could use a nice victory. For one, the team looked awful in Tuesday's loss to Charlotte. To add salt to the wound, an ambitious arena plan that would have seen the Warriors move to a terrific spot on the San Francisco waterfront has been pushed back at least a year -- now it's 2018 at the earliest. The team announced plans to move there on May 22, 2012, but typically cost overruns have come into play. The Warriors originally played in San Francisco from 1962-71 when they moved from Philly. With all due respect to Oakland, there's just no comparison between that city and San Francisco, so the Warriors are going to move back eventually because it would greatly enhance the value of the franchise.
This is first of two meetings this season between the Bulls and Warriors. Golden State visits the Windy City on Feb. 26.
Bulls at Warriors Betting Story Lines
There isn't much positive to take for Golden State from its 91-75 home loss to the Bobcats on Tuesday. The Warriors shot 31.2 percent from the field, the team's worst since November 2004. Frankly, no one played well. Stephen Curry led the team with 17 but was 8-for-18. Klay Thompson was the only other player in double-figures with 12 but was 5-for-13. David Lee was a game-time decision with a shoulder injury -- he missed the previous game -- and probably should have sat, going 3-for-13 with only three rebounds. Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut combined for 12 points. Maybe Golden State was rusty, not having played since Friday, but a 16-point home loss to Charlotte -- even if the Bobcats got star point guard Kemba Walker back from injury -- shouldn't happen to a team that thinks it can contend for a conference title. The Warriors are now four games behind the Clippers in the Pacific and probably blew their chance to win it as L.A. will be getting Chris Paul back soon.
OK, there was one bright spot for Golden State on Tuesday. Backup big man Jermaine O'Neal played for the first time since Dec. 9 due to wrist surgery. He looked pretty good with nine points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes. O'Neal's return means perhaps a few less minutes for Bogut, which could help keep him healthy.
This is game No. 5 of a six-game Western Conference road trip for the Bulls, and they are guaranteed no worse than a .500 record with a win Thursday. Chicago finished off a season sweep of surprising Phoenix on Tuesday with a 101-92 victory to end a two-game losing streak. What made it even more impressive was that it came the night after a 29-point loss at Sacramento. Coach Tom Thibodeau gave the team an inspired speech after that loss.
Joakim Noah was able to play against the Suns after cursing the officials and being ejected against the Kings, avoiding a suspension and getting a $15K fine. Noah had a typical line against Phoenix: 14 points and 14 rebounds. Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 12 boards. He made news this week by complaining that he's not on the floor much if at all in the fourth quarter as Thibodeau goes with the much defensively superior Taj Gibson. That didn't change on Tuesday -- Thibs knows he will be around next year; Boozer will surely be amnestied.
Bulls at Warriors Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Golden State opened as an eight-point favorite with a total of 190.5. Chicago is 22-26 against the spread (12-13 on road) and 19-29 "over/under" (12-13 on road). The Warriors are 21-26-2 ATS (8-14-1 at home) and 20-28-1 O/U (10-12-1 at home). The Bulls are 4-0 ATS in their past four road games against teams with a winning home record but haven't covered their past four overall following an ATS win. The Warriors are 8-0-1 ATS in their past nine following a loss of at least 10 points at home. Golden State is 0-5 ATS in its past five against the Eastern Conference. The under is 5-1 in Chicago's past six road games. The under is 5-0 in Golden State's past five. The under is 6-2 in the past eight meetings. Chicago is 3-8 ATS in the past 11 in Oakland.
Free NBA Picks: Bulls at Warriors Betting Predictions
Generally the Warriors bounce back well from a stinker. Last Tuesday they looked bad in falling 88-85 to Washington and then followed it with an impressive 111-92 blowout of the Clippers. Chicago's legs might be heavy after playing Saturday, Monday and Tuesday and traveling each night. While the Bulls swept the Warriors last year, Golden State has won 11 of the past 14 at home in the series. I think Golden State wins but the hard-working Bulls should cover. Take the under.
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