Golden State Warriors (-7, 214.5 o/u) at Chicago Bulls
The Golden State Warriors (38-4, 19-4 Away) are back. They never really went anywhere, but they did drop two of three recently, doubling their loss total for the season. Then they sent a message to the entire league by smashing the Cavaliers, the top team in the East, 132-98, in Cleveland. Steph Curry and company will look to keep that momentum going tonight when they face the Chicago Bulls (24-16, 16-7 Home) at the United Center (8:00 PM Eastern).
The Warriors shot 54.1-percent from the field and made 19 of 40 three-point shots in the win over Cleveland. Curry led the way, as usual, with 35 points.
The Warriors opened up a massive gap early, leading by 26 at the half and 37 through three.
“The first three-quarters, that’s who we know we can be,” interim coach Luke Walton told the Associated Press. “They were absolutely phenomenal. We can’t really ask to play much better than that.”
Getting Draymond Green back at full speed was key for Golden State. The power forward sat out the team’s recent loss to Denver, and then played like a shell of himself in a second setback to Detroit. He was all over the court against the Cavs, though, putting up 16 points, ten assists, and seven boards.
Walton will be hoping Green can dominate the post tonight against a Bulls team missing their own defensive stalwart, Joakim Noah. The former Defensive Player of the Year is out for the year with a shoulder injury.
“I’m not going to say that we’re over him or we don’t need him. We need him for sure,” point guard Derrick Rose said to the AP. “But we’re professionals. We know that once someone goes out, somebody has to step in and do that job, and we believe in everybody on this team.”
The Bulls appear to be adjusting to life without Noah. After losing three in a row, they’ve now won two of the last three, including a 111-101 victory in Detroit on Monday. Seven-footer Pau Gasol stepped up down low, scoring 31 points and hauling in 12 rebounds.
The Bulls have been inconsistent for bettors this year, though, going 4-12 against the spread following an ATS win. The Warriors, on the other hand, have been a solid road bet; they’re 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games and 15-7-1 ATS in their last 23 games as a road favorite.
Pick: Warriors (-7).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Stephen Curry) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)