Cleveland Cavaliers (67-35) at Chicago Bulls (56-38)
|Date & Time||Tuesday October 27, 2015, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Chicago Bulls -3 -- Over/Under: 198.5
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The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls collide in the NBA season opener tonight.
The Cavaliers will be looking to looking to kick off their season with a win after falling in last season NBA Finals to the Warriors. LeBron James had been limited in practice since receiving an anti-inflammatory injection in his back two weeks ago, but he is expected to be ready to go tonight, whereas Kyrie Irving (knee) remains without a return timetable so the newly acquired Mo Williams is expected to take his place until he comes back. Kevin Love will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing season and is expected to have a bigger role in the offense, especially with coach Blatt looking to keep James fresh for the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls will be looking to get back into championship contention after hiring Fred Hoiberg to replace Tom Thibodeau as coach. Derrick Rose will be in the starting lineup for Tuesday but expect plenty of rust as he spent most of training camp doing rehab for his broken orbital bone which means that the emerging star, Jimmy Butler will be required to play heavy minutes and produce like he did in last year's breakout season. In an interesting move, there are rumours circulating that Joakim Noah could come off the bench which could mean more opportunity for Nikola Mirotic as coach Hoiberg looks to play a more up tempo offense.
In ATS trends, the Cavaliers are 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings overall and 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings in Chicago.
You never really know what you're going to get from the first game of the season, because the Cavs are dealing with injuries and a new point guard in Williams, while the Bulls are dealing with a new coach and a new system. The public seem to be leaning towards the Bulls in this one, but I actually think the smarter money is on the Cavs with the points in what should be a close one.