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The Golden State Warriors will continue their terrible slog of a season here as they take a trip to Chicago to face off with the Bulls. Golden State enters this one with a dreadful 4-19 record, while Chicago sits at a more respectable 8-14. Oddsmakers have Chicago as a modest favorite here for this one.
Warriors TankingI don't think anybody thought Golden State's season would go this badly. After Klay Thompson tore his ACL during the playoffs last year and Kevin Durant left in free agency, everybody assumed they would take a step back. But with Draymond Green, Steph Curry, and D'Angelo Russell all still on the roster, they were expected to at the very least compete for a playoff spot. Injuries started piling up in truly epic fashion, with Curry breaking his hand early on. Seemingly everybody else on the team has dealt with an injury at one point or another since then, and on some nights they've been trotting out a comical lineup of G League caliber players.
They enter this one at an abysmal 4 - 19, and they haven't even been competitive recently. In their most recent game they lost by 15 points to the Hornets, and right before that they got smoked by 25 by the Hawks. They are 0-4 on this current road trip, and have gotten blown out in all but one of those games. They aren't being very shy about the fact that they aren't really playing to win, and Green and Russell each played only 25 minutes in their most recent game. Alec Burks has been emerging as one of their leading scorers, which tells you all you need to know about this season. They enter this one with a -9.8 point differential, and only the New York Knicks have a worse one this year.
Bulls About As ExpectedThe Bulls haven't been good in quite some time, and it doesn't look like things are going to dramatically change this year. Right now it's all about getting a look at the young guys, including promising rookie point guard Coby White. White was drafted 7th overall back in June, and he has flashed a ton of potential. Zach LaVine has been by far the team's leading scorer, and he enters this one averaging 22.5 points per game.
Unfortunately Chicago will be without forward Otto Porter Jr here, as he deals with a foot injury. While it's not like Chicago has been lighting it up by any means, they have been when you compare their season to Golden State's. Expectations weren't particularly high for the Bulls entering 2019, and they've been right around where everybody predicted as a below-average team. They enter this one at 8-14, although they have been playing a bit better recently. They've won two straight games entering this one, providing them with their first winning streak of the season. In their game before this mini-streak started they were very competitive on the road against the Trailblazers, only losing to Portland by four points.
Chicago often seems to play better in front of their home crowd, and they are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as a home favorite. LaVine has been on fire recently, with at least 25 points in four straight games. Two games before that streak started he had 49 points and put up one of the best shooting performances in recent NBA history. Second-year center Wendell Carter Jr. has often been a force down low and is averaging 9.9 rebounds per game, and he is one of the keys to this contest.
Trends, courtesy of Covers.com: Bulls are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite
- 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- 2-7 ATS in their last 9 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I think you have to lay the points with Chicago here. Golden State has been getting blown out by just about everybody no matter the team, and only the Knicks have a worse point differential this season. They aren't even trying at this point, and Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell certainly aren't playing their full allotment of minutes. The Bulls have quietly started to play better recently and have won back-to-back games, and as long as LaVine is shooting like this they're going to be hard to beat. Playing in front of their home crowd, I think Chicago rolls them.
Prediction: Bulls -5
Full-Game Total Pick
I also think the over makes a lot of sense here. Neither team plays too much defense for the most part, especially Golden State. The Bulls are capable of putting up points in a hurry when they're clicking, and Zach LaVine is absolutely on fire right now. The Warriors have looked downright apathetic during this entire road trip, and I don't expect their defense to suddenly find a new life here. Their offense is back to pretty much full strength, so they should be able to score here as well on a below-average Chicago defense.