The NBA Playoffs continue on Monday night and we will see the Chicago Bulls travel to Quicken loans Arena to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 1 of their best-of-seven series. Free Pick to follow. The game has a start time of 7:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Current Vegas betting odds have Cleveland listed as 5 point favorites, while the total is set at 194.
Analysis: The Chicago Bulls said enough is enough when it came to their game 6 meeting with the Bucks. The Bulls had just lost the last 2 in that series, but they came out and grabbed a big early lead that then never relinquished on their way to the 54 point blowout. Now they have a date with a banged up Cleveland squad and the Bulls have been solid on the road this year where they have gone 25-19. The Bulls have gone 7-1 ATS in their last 8 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings in Cleveland. Chicago has scored 100.2 ppg on 44.6% shooting overall and 36.0% from long range on the road this year. Defensively they have been solid away from home, allowing just 97.3 pg on 42.8% shooting overall and 33.2% shooting from long range.
The Good news for the Cavs is that they swept their opening series with the Celtics, but the bad news is that they lost Kevin love for the rest of the playoffs and they also lost JR Smith for the first two games after he was suspended after game 4 in Boston. The Cavs are 33-10 at home this year. Cleveland has gone 7-2 ATS in their last 9 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game, but just 6-16-1 ATS in their last 23 Monday games. The Cavaliers have been a good offensive team at home this year, scoring 103.6 ppg) on 46.7% shooting overall and 38.6% shooting from long range. Defensively the Cavaliers have been solid at home, where they have allowed just 96.0 ppg on 47% shooting overall and 34.9% shooting from long range.
Pick: Going with the Under in this game. The Cavs have no Kevin Love and no JR Smith for this one, so I really expect their scoring ro be down, especially vs a Bulls team that plays excellent defense anyway. The also play very good defense, especially at home where they have allowed just 96 ppg on the year. I can not see this first game being all that uptempo. The Bulls just came off a rather long series with the Bucks, while the Cabs are missing plenty on offense.
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