Cavaliers at Bulls - 10/31/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Cleveland Cavaliers (0-1) at Chicago Bulls (1-0)
NBA Basketball: Friday, October 31, 2014 at 8:00 pm (United Center)
The Line: Chicago Bulls -2.5 -- Over/Under: 193.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN, CSNC, FSOH
The Cleveland Cavaliers look to rebound from an opening night loss as they visit the Chicago Bulls on Friday night in game one of an ESPN double header at 8:00 PM ET.
The Cleveland Cavaliers lost their opening tilt against the Knicks as 13 point favorites last night, failing to live up to lofty expectations on their home court despite building a 25-18 lead after the first quarter. LeBron James committed eight of the team’s 19 turnovers on the night while shooting just 33% overall and 1-5 from three point range. Kevin Love posted 19 points and 14 rebounds and Kyrie Irving scored 22 points while dishing seven assists, but the Cavs got virtually nothing in the way of bench production with Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova each scoring six points as the only non-starters playing more than ten minutes. A trip to Chicago to face the Bulls’ typically suffocating defense doesn’t seem like the remedy for a team that may need time to develop chemistry before showcasing a finished product on the court.
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The Chicago Bulls made short work of the Knicks in their opening contest at home on Wednesday, cruising to a 104-80 win while holding New York to a paltry 36.5% shooting. Derrick Rose played just 21 minutes scoring 13 points with five assists and two steals while getting to the foul line in signature fashion and converting 7-8 from the charity stripe. Pau Gasol scored 21 points and added 11 rebounds in his debut while Joakim Noah was quiet by his usual standards with three points, six boards, and three blocks in 20 minutes of work. The Bulls had a chance to test out their bench in the rout with 12 total players seeing action in the game; Taj Gibson produced as we’ve come to expect as a league-leading sixth man with 22 points on 10-12 shooting and eight rebounds and Aaron Brooks and Doug McDermott showcased the scoring potential Bulls’ teams in past years have been lacking from reserves with 13 and 12 points respectively.
These teams looked like complete opposites battling the same opponent to start the year which makes the Bulls look like the easy selection at first glance in this matchup. I’m taking the road team to rebound here though despite the back-to-back scenario as I believe the Cavs are talented enough to rebound in a spotlight game and will be more free and loose in the underdog role despite the challenge they face with the Bulls defense. Follow me live on Twitter @_BrianFitz_ for updates as most books will be producing a live line at every commercial break and that’s where I see the real opportunities presenting themselves as I will be taking the moneyline odds on either team trailing.