The Chicago Bulls appear to be good, and judging by the home crowds at the United Center, the city is rallying behind them.
So are sports bettors. According to FanDuel Sportsbook national data, the Bulls are the second-most popular NBA championship futures bet.
They were only behind the Lakers in terms of bet count as of Tuesday. Here is the full top five with title odds for each team:
- Los Angeles Lakers: +600
- Chicago Bulls: +3,200
- Golden State Warriors: +850
- Milwaukee Bucks: +700
- Denver Nuggets: +2,300
The Bulls are also high up in terms of handle, though not second among NBA teams. This is where the money is at FanDuel by percentage:
- Los Angeles Lakers: 28%
- Golden State Warriors: 14%
- Brooklyn Nets: 10%
- Chicago Bulls: 8.5%
- Philadelphia 76ers: 6.5%
The Bulls and Warriors are in the top five of both of these lists, and they will square off on Friday night at the Chase Center.
We’ll preview that matchup as well as give you the best ways to bet on the game at FanDuel in Illinois.
FanDuel offering ‘First Basket Fridays’ For Bulls vs. Warriors
FanDuel has a ‘First Basket Fridays‘ promotion for tonight’s NBA slate.
Here’s how it works. Place a $25 or higher first basket wager on any game, including Bulls vs. Warriors, and you’ll get $1 in site credit for every 3-pointer that is made in the game.
FanDuel also has a very generous sign-up offer for new users.
Golden State averages 15.7 3-point makes per game, while Chicago averages 10. The maximum win for the promotion is $25, and the Bulls and Warriors combine to average more than 25 3s per game.
Essentially, it’s a chance to win big on a first scorer bet, and if you lose, there’s a good shot you’ll win back your money in site credit.
Chicago vs. Golden State odds at Illinois online sportsbooks
Chicago is 8-3 on the young season, fresh off of impressive home wins over the Nets and Mavericks. The Bulls are tied with the Wizards atop the Eastern Conference standings.
But the dreaded November west coast trip begins on Friday against the Warriors, who have the best record in the NBA. To make matters worse, center Nikola Vucevic tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and will miss several games.
Vucevic has struggled to start the year, but he will still be missed. The Bulls are particularly thin at the backup center spot, as Tony Bradley will now take on a huge role and the undersized Alize Johnson will likely back him up.
With that said, one reason to like Chicago to cover is that it has a few defenders to throw at Stephen Curry. Curry has been out of his mind to start the season, averaging 27.4 points per game.
The Bulls won’t shut Curry down, but in Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball and Javonte Green, they have three excellent on-ball guard defenders. That trio made life tough for MVP candidate Luka Doncic on Wednesday, holding him to 6-of-18 shooting.
If the Bulls can limit Curry’s efficiency, they will have a good chance to cover a fairly big number on the road. With that said, at Golden State is arguably the toughest betting spot imaginable right now, and Chicago is without one of its best players in Vucevic.
Could there eventually be a FanDuel Sportsbook at the United Center?
While the Bulls and FanDuel aren’t exclusive partners, there is a large FanDuel logo on the United Center baseline for every home game. It is not subtle.
We also know that the United Center is interested in opening a retail sportsbook. The Cubs have partnered with DraftKings for theirs, and given FanDuel’s current ties to the Bulls, it is the clear favorite to host a sportsbook at the UC.
Stadium sportsbooks are a hot topic in Chicago these days. Neil Bluhm, co-founder of Rush Street Gaming, recently came out against the idea even though it is a part of the Illinois law. Bluhm is behind two Chicago casino bids.
One would expect the Sports Wagering Act to hold up as written, but things may get contentious over the next several months.