Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#519 Golden State Warriors 212.5 vs.
#520 Chicago Bulls -4.5
Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8:05pm EST
United Center, Chicago
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#519 Golden State
#520 Chicago
4-19
8-14
44-58-2
35-45-2
51-52-1
37-43-2
116
104
111
113

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When and where: December 6, 2019, United Center, Chicago, IL, 8:00 PM ET

The Golden State Warriors would love to take a break from losing when traveling to the United Center on Friday to take on the Chicago Bulls. It worked for the Warriors the last time they faced the Bulls and ended a three-game losing streak. After losing to the Charlotte Hornets, they’ll hope for a similar turnaround performance on the road to avoid a fifth consecutive loss. The Bulls, on the other hand, are coming off back-to-back wins over the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

Russell can’t save these Warriors

The long-awaited return of D’Angelo Russell couldn’t save the Warriors from losing their fourth consecutive game on Wednesday to the Hornets. It’s no surprise considering he has only won one regular season game since donning a Warriors uniform. He dropped 18 points, two rebounds and two assists in his return from a thumb injury.

It would probably take one of his otherworldly scoring performances for the Warriors to even have a shot at winning on Friday.

The Warriors rank as the second-worst offensive team in the league behind the New York Knicks. They’ll be going head-to-head with a Bulls defense that has shown some fight this season. They rank 12th in the league in defensive efficiency with their last three opponents averaging 104.0 points per game. Russell and rookie forward Eric Paschall were the only two starters that scored in double figures against the Hornets. Alec Burks came off the bench for 15 points, but the Warriors are clearly going to need more help if they ever hope to get on the winning track.

On the defensive end of the floor, the Warriors are the fifth-worst in the league in efficiency taking on a one-trick pony Bulls offense that leans too heavily on Zach LaVine to carry them.

Bulls looking for third straight win

The Bulls broke a three-game losing streak, and now, they’re trying to complete a three-game winning streak. After slipping past the Kings on the road, they fended off the Grizzlies in a home win with LaVine scoring 25 points. That sort of effort from their star player isn’t anything new for the Bulls, but their ability to close the deal is something worth celebrating.

They’ll try to keep the good times rolling in Friday’s run-in with the depleted Warriors. Defense is pretty much simplified when facing a Golden State team with Russell on the floor. The team is going to run all of their picks in an effort to get him as many good looks at the basket as possible. It hasn’t been perfect for the Bulls by a long shot, but they have been quietly working towards improvement on the defensive end of the floor. They should have plenty of opportunities to flex their muscles against a Warriors offense shooting a sad 42.2 percent on the road.

The Bulls know what it’s like to have a primary scorer and limited offensive weapons to put up points. They are averaging only 106.4 points per game with LaVine being the lone big-scoring option (22.5 PPG). Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is continuing to experience a down year. LaVine will need some help with Otto Porter Jr. officially listed as questionable with an injury and Chandler Hutchison already being ruled out.

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I understand the urge to want to go out on a limb and pick Russell to drop 40-plus points and get the Warriors their fifth win of the season.

But it isn’t happening.

Even if Russell put on one of his ridiculous scoring performances, the Warriors would still probably go on to lose the game. They aren’t a team equipped with enough talent to win many ball games this year. As tough as that truth is hard to swallow, it’s one that has to echo loudly throughout an organization that had arguably the greatest team ever formed a year ago.

Markkanen has scored in double figures in his last three games, and there is hope he could be finding his way out of the doghouse. The Bulls are tough enough on defense to frustrate the Warriors into bad shots. At this point, there’s no certainty that even good shots would fall. Russell will score a ton of points, and the Warriors will still find a way to lose this game. I’m taking the Bulls and laying the points.

Prediction: Chicago Bulls (-5)

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The Warriors are an absolute mess defensively, but they aren’t facing a team consistently capable of getting buckets. Chicago is only averaging 103.3 points in their last three outings. You could say they have faced superior defensive opponents, but that argument quickly fails when reminded that the Warriors held them to 90 points in a loss prior to those games.

I’m expecting the Bulls to have a better offensive outing with this game being on their home floor. But my lack of faith in the Warriors offense, along with the Bulls’ unhealthy reliance on LaVine, has me picking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (212.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.