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Our Deep-3 picks are 8-1 this week and we’ve got the latest version right here:
A showdown between one of the league’s worst teams and one of the league’s best here as the Chicago Bulls travel to take on the Golden State Warriors. The Bulls have the third worst record in basketball, while the Warriors have been climbing back to the top after a somewhat slow start. Predictably, oddsmakers have the Warriors as massive favorites.
Bulls On A Skid
The Bulls’ season has gone disastrously. Not only did they fire their coach Fred Hoiberg, but they’ve had a near mutiny against their new coach. Jim Boyle took over the team and started working the players way too hard, and none of them seemed particularly interested in playing for him. The team has been embarrassed many times and been absolutely blown out by laughable margins several times.
They’re a very young team, and as such struggle heavily on the road. They’ve lost five straight games, and they mostly haven’t been competitive during this losing streak. Three of the five games they’ve lost by at least 12 points, so I don’t see how they’ll be able to keep it close going on the road across the country against the league’s best team. The Bulls have given up at least 112 points in four straight games, and the Warriors should feast on their inexperienced defense.
What makes their losing streak even worse is that they’ve played a fairly easy schedule. Two of the teams they lost by 17+ against in the past week were the Nets and the Magic. Their only real consistent asset at this point is Lauri Markkanen, as Zach Lavine scores a bunch of points but isn’t very efficient and is a liability on defense. The Bulls like the shoot a lot of threes, but they certainly aren’t going to win a shootout against the Warriors here.
Warriors Heating Up
The Warriors had an uncharacteristic slow start to the season. They’ve dealt with a ton of internal drama, most of it involving Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, and have faced the most adversity of their dynasty. But they’ve started to heat up recently, and have looked particularly good on the offensive side of the ball.
One of the biggest struggles they had was Klay Thompson suddenly struggling to shoot. Thompson has rediscovered his stroke though and has been absolutely tearing it up recently. Thompson had 43 points in their most recent win, and is an incredible 20/39 from three over his last five games. The Warriors have shown a willingness to absolutely bludgeon lesser opponents, beating the Knicks by 27 points in their most recent game, so they won’t ease up toward the end here against the Bulls.
Klay Thompson only needed FOUR DRIBBLES to score 43 points 😳 pic.twitter.com/k7xO0XpY3d
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 9, 2019
Golden State has at least 122 points in four straight games and should be able to score at will against this Chicago defense. The Bulls are also scoring the fewest points per game of any team in the NBA, and the Warriors’ vets should be able to keep them from scoring in front of their deafening home crowd. The Bulls also have the second-worst point differential, getting outscored by an average of 9.5 points per game, so I’d have no qualms about laying this huge number here in this spot.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference
- 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Western Conference
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Warriors a lot here, even with this massive number. They’ve beaten up on weaker teams all season long, going 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Their recent beatdown of the Knicks lays a pretty good blueprint for what should happen here. Thompson has been on fire, and I can easily see the Warriors scoring 130+.
Prediction: Warriors -15
Full-Game Total Pick
Now that the Warriors’ offense is back on track and Thompson has rediscovered his jump shot, it’d be hard not to take the over here. The Bulls don’t have any sort of defense, and Golden State will dictate the pace of this one the whole way.