Chicago Struggles at GS: Play 1st Half Warriors -4 as the NBA Pick

Mark Lathrop

Friday, November 20, 2015 1:46 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 1:46 PM GMT

Our NBA handicapper is looking at the first half of the Warriors game versus the Bulls, to find the best betting value on the board. Get our free NBA pick.

Chicago Bulls vs. Golden State Warriors
The streaking Golden State come into Friday night’s matchup with the Chicago Bulls having won 25 straight games in the regular season at home, with the last loss coming to these Chicago Bulls last year. The Warriors have built upon their championship season by going on a 12-0 run before matching up with the L.A. Clippers on Thursday night. I’d get into some statistics on how the Warriors have done on zero days’ rest, but there wouldn’t be anything in the loss column until the Clippers pull off an upset.

 

Betting Preview
With the Warriors seemingly unstoppable, the lines have opened up heavily in their favor even against a foe with an 8-3 record. Chicago has amassed that win-loss record against some questionable competition, so the line appears to have been adjusted for that fact too. It can be found at -9 at Pinnacle, with a range of options from 8.5 to 10 in favor of the Warriors depending on where you look.

So, can the Bulls slow down the Warriors and keep up with the Cavaliers in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference? It will be a difficult task, and one made more difficult by the injury situation of the Bulls back court at the moment. Aaron Brooks has been ruled out of Friday night’s game with a hamstring injury. Oft injured star point guard, Derrick Rose, is questionable with an ankle injury, but the notes out of Thursday’s practice were not promising. Chicago guard Mike Dunleavy has been out and will definitely continue to be out for this game as well.

The Warriors have done just about everything right so far this season to amass their impressive record. Through Thursday afternoon, they lead the NBA with 114.2 points per game. In that, of course they lead the lead in FG% with 48.1%. And to go along with that, they lead the NBA in 3-point percentage at an amazing 40.1%. They’ve definitely been on fire for the first month of the season.

Or more accurately, Stephen Curry has been on fire, posting career highs in averages through the first twelve games of the season. His offensive output has dampened the statistics of back court mate, Klay Thompson, however. Still, when you are shooting 52.1% from the field and 45.6% from three-point range you are going to take most of the shots. Curry’s average of 33.7 points per game has been Jordan-esque of late.

Chicago is dealing with a new coach, and with it, a new tempo. They are averaging more than 5 more possessions per game over last year, 95.25 to 100.61. However, with a lower shooting percentage of late the offense hasn’t picked up in correlation with the higher tempo. Part of that is the poor shooing of Derrick Rose, who is at 38% on the season thus far. You are going to have to shoot at a ridiculous clip to keep up with the Warriors, similar to what the Clippers did in the first quarter of their game against them on Thursday night.

With Chicago’s offensive struggles, it is no surprise that the O/U total has opened at just 207, even though the Warriors are scoring that 114.2 points per game average. But the Warriors have shown they can give up points – they just score a lot more than the opponent the entire time.

 

Final Analysis
It’s not often that I make a pick based on something I’ve seen in a game before the one I am handicapping, but this is one of those rare cases. The Warriors got embarrassed in the first half of their game against the Clippers, and I don’t see that happening two nights in a row. With the halftime line not out just yet, I am leaning heavily towards that direction and it should come in around -5 favoring the Warriors. Look for the Warriors to bounce back and start fast and take them in the first half against the Chicago Bulls as one of your Friday Night NBA picks.

NBA Pick: 1st Half Warriors -4 at Pinnacle

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