Marquee Clash: Take Bulls +7 Our Sharp NBA Pick Against Warriors

Ted Sevransky

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 5:52 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 5:52 PM UTC

The Chicago Bulls are missing Joaquim Noah for a long time, that make us think about adding them as our NBA pick as the Golden State Warriors will visit the Windy City tonight.

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NBA Pick: Bulls +7
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Golden State Warriors vs. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have been consistent moneylosers through the first half of the NBA season, ranked in the bottom quartile of the league with only 16 pointspread covers all year. They’ve been particularly bad mid-range favorites; 5-15 against the NBA odds when laying -3 to -9.5; a team that has taken lesser foes for granted on a consistent basis.

But when you put the Bulls in the underdog role, you’ll see some remarkably different results. In fact, Chicago has only suffered one loss all year when catching four points or more – when they were +9 at Golden State. 

Even in that game, Chicago covered the spread wire-2-wire until the final minute. The game was tied at 89 with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls hit only two shots the rest of the way while Harrison Barnes nailed back-2-back three pointers with the shot clock winding down in the final minute. The 12 point margin of defeat was not indicative of how tight the game actually was.

The Bulls have certainly stepped up in class well in recent weeks. They won outright as an underdog at Detroit on MLB Day, an indicator of how much Bulls disrespect is in the betting marketplace right now – we hadn’t seen a healthy Chicago team installed as underdogs against the Pistons in years. Other recent SU wins as an underdog have come against Toronto and Oklahoma City. 

It’s surely worth noting that in three previous tries at pick ‘em or as an underdog at the United Center this year, the Bulls won in straight up fashion against the Thunder, Clippers and Spurs. The Bulls consistently lose focus against weaker foes, but their intensity cannot be questioned when they look to step up in class.

Chicago gave Golden State problems last year too, one of only two teams to win outright at Oracle Arena during the regular season. And it wasn’t a miraculous shooting effort either – the Bulls won despite a mediocre 42% shooting night, just 27% from three point range. It’s surely worth noting that Bulls leading scorer Jimmy Butler didn’t even suit up for that win at Oracle.

Golden State is the most ‘public’ team in the NBA right now, and it’s easy to understand why. The Warriors earned their backers a boatload of money last year; a Top 5 ATS team for the entirety of the regular season. They earned their backers money in the playoffs, especially on the road. They’ve been the #2 pointspread team in the NBA so far this year, again, dominating ATS away from home.

Golden State is coming off a true annihilation of the team they faced in the NBA Finals last year, blowing out Cleveland in Cleveland by 34 points; a game that was essentially garbage time by midway through the second quarter. That national TV victory coupled with all the pointspread success the Warriors have enjoyed for the last year and a half has Golden State supporters in the ‘irrational exuberance’ phase of their love affair. Bettors are willing to support the Warriors at any price, in any venue.

But as this price has steadily climbed, from an opener of -5.5 to the current -7, there’s only one side I can recommend.  You’re not going to make money long term in the NBA supporting elite level teams coming off huge ‘statement game’ blowouts laying an inflated price in their next contest. All the value here is on the home dog as the NBA pick.

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