Bulls vs. Warriors NBA Picks: Can Chicago Stop Golden State?

Lonzo Ball #2 of the Chicago Bulls. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images/AFP

Two of the best teams in the league clash on Friday night when the Chicago Bulls visit the Golden State Warriors in what should be a very entertaining game. Can the Bulls beat the NBA odds without Nikola Vucevic, who entered health and safety protocols on Thursday. Here’s a complete preview, including betting odds and free NBA picks.

Chicago Bulls vs. Golden State Warriors

Friday, November 12, 2021 – 10:00 PM EST at Chase Center

The Warriors opened at -5.5 at BetMGM while other sportsbooks, including Bet365, have them at -5. FiveThirtyEight have them at -5 as well, giving them a 69 percent chance to win. For support, we turn to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s projections; he has the Warriors at -4.61 using his Rating numbers and at using his eigenvector analysis. This leaves a very small gap between the FiveThirtyEight projections and the actual NBA odds.

So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance?

I don’t want to overreact but we could see the Bulls (8-3 SU and ATS) and the Warriors (10-1 SU, 7-3-1 ATS) in the NBA Finals, which sounded practically impossible in the offseason. Few thought that DeMar DeRozan (plus-3.7 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) would be a difference-maker and not many expected Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine to blend quickly but this team’s culture changed significantly and they’re fun to watch again. The Alex Caruso signing has a lot to do with this as he’s been a spark off the bench at both ends of the court.

Many of us were wrong about the Warriors and how good they would be while missing Klay Thompson to start the season. Draymond Green (plus-3.1 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) has been a glue guy but he sustained a thigh contusion on Wednesday’s 123-110 home win against the Timberwolves and is questionable for this game. Should we pound the Under if he manages to play?

Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors. Michael Urakami/Getty Images/AFP

Prediction

LaVine, DeRozan, Curry and Poole can go off and Green might not play but I still like the Under on that 221.5 total at Bet365. The Under is 6-5 for the Bulls and 7-4 for a Warriors team that has made a significant leap on defense. Golden State leads the NBA at 96.8 points allowed per 100 possessions, 10.9 fewer points than last year. Chicago has also played solid defense, with 101.7 points allowed per 100 possessions (sixth in the league). The Bulls use just 100.2 possessions per game (21st in the league) and we can’t rely on Tony Bradley (minus-1.4 Box Plus/Minus) to replace Vucevic’s production.

NBA Pick: Under 221.5 (-110) at Bet365