NBA Pick On Warriors & Bulls To Stay ‘Under’ Big Total On Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 4:10 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 4:10 PM UTC

The Warriors left no doubt who the best team in the NBA is with a rout of the Cavs two days ago, but a possible letdown and good defenses could mean an ‘under’ NBA pick vs. the Bulls.


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Free NBA Pick: Under 214½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


There could be a much lower scoring game than the bloated total on this marquee televised contest implies Wednesday night when the Golden State Warriors (38-4, 25-16-1 ATS), fresh off of an annihilation of LeBron James and the Cavaliers two nights ago, pay a visit to the Chicago Bulls (24-16, 16-24 ATS) at the United Center in Chicago, IL at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.

The posted total at Pinnacle is 214½ for this contest with the current NBA odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.


Leaving No Doubt
The Warriors had uncharacteristically lost two of their previous three games before a nationally televised statement game in Cleveland vs. LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Monday, and the statement was definitely delivered as Golden State once led by 43 points and went on to win 132-98 as rare three-point underdogs in a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals and also a possible preview of this year’s with Cleveland still the top seed in the East.

Speaking of the East, the Bulls were actually the two-seeds in the conference for a while despite being in second place behind those Cavaliers in the Central Division, but that was before being the losing NBA picks in four of their last six games. Chicago does come off of a nice 111-101 road win at Detroit on Monday though, leaving the Bulls 4½ games behind Cleveland in the division and as the three-seeds on the conference 1½ behind the second seeded Toronto Raptors.


Will Warriors Let Down?
The Warriors played as well as possibly any team can over the first three quarters vs. the best team in the Eastern Conference Monday night before the starters rested in the fourth quarter, but now that the statement has been emphatically delivered, will Golden State have a bit of a letdown here? The NBA betting market is giving conflicting signs in that regard, as the Warriors’ side has been bet up from an opener -6 to -6½ but the total has dropped from 215½ to 214½.

Then again, let us not forget that the Warriors are also one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, which often gets overlooked due to the fact that they are only 18th in points against at 102.6 per game. However, that is actually a function of playing at a phrenetic pace with Golden State ranking second in tempo rating grading out at 101.7 possessions per game, as the Warriors are actually fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency and third in field goal percentage allowed.


Relatively Low Scoring Series
As for the Bulls, while they are allowing more points defensively than they did under fired former coach Tom Thibodeau, ranking 14th in the NBA in points against at 100.6 per game, that too is mostly due to playing at a faster pace offensively under current coach Fred Hoiberg than they did under Thibodeau, as the fact of the matter is that Chicago still leads the NBA in field goal percentage allowed at just 42.3 percent while ranking sixth in defensive efficiency!

So this could be a lower scoring game than many expect if the tempo is not as fast as usual, and we do indeed expect the Bulls to slow this pace down a bit, as while they are certainly a better offensive team this year than in recent seasons, they still know that they would be at a disadvantage if they get into a track meet with a team like the Warriors. We also feel that playing at home helps in regards to the Bulls controlling that tempo.

And then there is this posted total itself of 214½. You see, these teams have not surpassed 214 points during regulation time in any of their last 12 head-to-head meetings, and the only time they topped 214 points overall came in overtime when Chicago handed the Warriors one of their two losses in Oakland over the entire regular season last year 113-111.


Trending the ‘under’
Finally, as you would expect, the ‘under’ is now 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in Chicago. The ‘under’ is also 12-2 in the Bulls’ last 14 games vs. the Western Conference, as well as 13-5-1 in the Warriors’ last 19 games vs. the Central Division.

Look for both defenses to step up and for those ‘under’ patterns to continue for at least one more game here as we expect Golden State and Chicago to again stay below this seemingly inflated posted total at the United Center on ESPN Wednesday.

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