NBA Odds & Picks for Warriors vs. Bulls: Target the Total in This Fast-Paced Matchup
Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Chicago Bulls.
Warriors vs. Bulls Odds
|Warriors Odds||-2 [BET NOW]|
|Bulls Odds||+2 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-122 / +111 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||227 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday at 7 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where you can get $250 FREE instantly after signing up AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app.|
Who needs Week 16 of the NFL when the NBA is in full swing?
This matchup features two organizations aiming for playoff appearances coming off disappointing seasons. The Warriors and Bulls did not even make it to the bubble last year, and they drafted second and fourth overall in this year’s draft.
These squads are looking to build elite identities, which should make this an important and competitive game.
Golden State Warriors
Looking at the Warriors’ schedule prior to the season tip off, I had them falling to both Brooklyn and Milwaukee, but I did not see it coming by embarrassing 26- and 39-point margins. One painfully obvious reason for these defeats is Golden State’s lack of ball movement. Unfortunately, it has not improved since their woeful 2019-20 campaign.
Golden State ranks 27th in Points Created by Assists over their first two games (NBA.com). In their Christmas Day tilt against the Bucks, head coach Steve Kerr and guard Stephen Curry were visibly disturbed due to a play where Kelly Oubre Jr. tried to shoot over three defenders in the lane after holding the ball for the majority of the shot clock. Yes, Oubre got fouled and went to the line, but playing hero ball is frowned upon in Golden State. They want to swing it in the half court, and get out and run whenever possible.
Entering Saturday, the Warriors led the league in pace (NBA.com). It’s evident they want to run the floor given the superior athleticism in their starting lineup. Yet, it has not transferred to points. Golden State entered Saturday ranked dead last in True Shooting at 45.2% (NBA.com).
Eventually, Golden State’s shooting will catch up to their electric pace. Curry is just 4 for 20 from beyond the arc to start the season and is too good to make that a trend, while Oubre and Andrew Wiggins are a combined 2 for 21 from beyond the arc. As Oubre and Wiggins refine their shot selection in this offense and feel more comfortable rotating the ball to find the best option, shots will fall.
The return of Draymond Green will also add flow. Even if Green is not back for this game, Golden State will get another game of experience under its belt. Expect this matchup against an easier opponent in Chicago to bring some much needed life to the Bay Area team’s attack.
To be blunt, I do not think highly of this Chicago Bulls team. I bet the Bulls’ win total under 29.5 because other than Zach LaVine, they have yet to find players that impact the game every night. I felt the 29.5 reflected the assumed improvement from former lottery picks such as Coby White and Wendell Carter Jr., but that is far from a guarantee.
It’s difficult to pin labels on teams this early in the year, but this Bulls’ defense looked porous against Atlanta, to put it nicely. Chicago allowed 83 first-half points, and the Hawks clearly took their foot off the gas in the second half, rotating in bench guys that only played because they were up 24 at halftime and 32 at the end of the third quarter.
Despite the blowout, Lauri Markkanen and rookie Patrick Williams looked strong on the offensive end. If Williams can develop a consistent jump shot and White can run the new Billy Donovan offense as designed, Chicago’s potential is increased.
With playoff aspirations and knowing the Warriors also possess a sub-par defense, Chicago will push for a high-scoring night.
Atlanta’s Trae Young put up 37 points against the Bulls, and we all know he’s emulating Curry’s offensive game.
Curry admitted, “We need to win, immediately,” after the loss to Milwaukee and he’ll play with urgency on Sunday. Expect the two-time MVP to come out hitting shots early, spacing the floor for Oubre and Wiggins to drive the ball.
Golden State will put up a ton of points in this one, especially with the Bulls playing the second leg of their first back-to-back.
I do worry about laying any points with the Warriors after what I’ve watched thus far, so that’s why I’m taking the over in a matchup with two defensively inept teams. If you took the Warriors in either of their first two games, bet the over here so they can redeem themselves.
Pick: Over 227 (-121), up to 229.