Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls

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The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls will take to the floor for a Wednesday night showdown at the United Center in Chicago beginning at 8 pm EST. The Bulls are currently favored by 5.5-points, down from 6 at the opening, while the total stands at 218-points, also down from 219-points.

The Cavaliers have dropped 2 of their last 3 outings as they were unable to pick up their 2nd-straight victory after falling by 14 at home to the Sacramento Kings Monday night. Their defense was destroyed from the perimeter allowing over 50% shooting along with 43% from deep (13 treys). And despite getting double-figures from 5 players, the team shot just 43% while missing 13 of 17 3-pointers as leading scorer Collin Sexton struggled missing each of his 3 attempts in this area while going 6-15 from the floor for 15 points. The team also failed to cover as 4.5-point dogs and are just 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games.

The Bulls are losers of 3 of their last 4 as they also failed to win their 2nd-straight as they were bounced around early and often by the Utah Jazz at home Monday night by 25-points. In fact, the team was outscored in every quarter failing to post 30 points in either while ending the game shooting just 41% from the field (23% from long-range). Zack LeVine, however, had a solid night posting 27 points; However, the guard needed 25 shots (missing 15) to do so as he also missed 6 of 10 from 3-point range. The loss dropped the Bulls to 19-23 on the year as they are tied with the Indiana Pacers for 2nd in the Central division. And while they failed to cover as 9.5-point dogs, the team is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games.

The Bulls take the floor seeking their 4th-straight win over the Cavaliers, including their 3rd-straight at home. Chicago holds a slight edge against the number in their last 10 meetings versus Cleveland going 6-4 during this time; however, the Cavaliers have covered in 3 of their last 5 roadies versus Chicago.

Cavaliers offensive woes continue

The Cavaliers are averaging just 109 points in their last 10 outings while dropping 6 of those contests. They are coming off a 105-point performance versus the Kings as the offense made just 41 of 96 shots. Sexton remains the team’s leading offensive option shooting 48% from the field along with a solid 39% from long-range on the year; However, the guard posted just 15 points versus Sacramento, ending his streak of 20+ point performances (4-straight). On the other hand, getting consistency from the remainder of his teammates has been the issue.

The team had to rely on reserve JaVale McGee for their scoring versus Sacramento as he led with 18 points and 9 boards on 6-9 shooting, his 1st double-digit performance in 3 games. Darius Garland has provided an offensive lift as of late averaging 22 points in his last 4 outings; On the other hand, he shot just 6-15 from the field versus the Kings in addition to committing a total of 18 turnovers in his last 5 starts. Important to note that Garland was questionable for their matchup versus the Kings with a quad injury. Jarrett Allen, however, has been a bright spot on both ends of the floor coming a rebound shy of his 3rd double-double versus the Kings while recording a block, his 11th in 7 games.

Despite his efforts on the defensive end, Cleveland remains at the bottom of the barrel in field goal along with 3-point percentage allowed this season. In fact, Chicago has posted 115 points or more in 2 of their last 3 versus the Cavaliers.

LaVine remains efficient despite off night

Zack LaVine is averaging just under 30 per game for Chicago and has consistently led the team in scoring on a nightly basis. The guard is shooting a strong 52% from the floor while sinking 44% of his shots from long-range as he has propelled the team to 12th in the league in scoring while also ranking in the top 10 in field goal along with 3-point percentage. And while Chicago shot 50% as a team in their last meeting versus the Cavaliers in March of last year, LaVine did not suit up for this contest.

In his place, Coby White, who has struggled as of late and now comes off the bench, led with 20 points on 7-17 shooting (2-7 3FG) while committing 9 of the team’s 21 turnovers. Important to add that White has a total of 13 turnovers in his last 4 outings. Lauri Markkanen and Denzel Valentine each posted 15 points while hitting 3 treys each while Wendell Carter, Jr. had an efficient night while finishing with 17 points in the 5-point home win.

Carter, Jr., due to inconsistent play, was also moved to the bench for Chicago recently and has since struggled to average just 6 points per in his last 6 games. Markkanen has shown the ability to be deadly from deep this season, yet, is coming off an 8-point performance versus Utah as he went just 3-12 from the floor. Thaddeus Young continues to be a bright spot since moving to the starting role as he came a rebound shy of his 2nd double-double in 3 games versus the Jazz (14 points, 9 rebounds).

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

LaVine has not only been a one-man show throughout the season for Chicago, but the guard has been effective at getting his teammates involved offensively as well.  Cleveland has dropped 3 of 4 roadies against the number entering this matchup while falling to cover in the last 2 versus the Bulls.  In all, I like the home team to grind out another win while pulling away from the Cavaliers at some point to cover the 5 1/2.

Chicago Bulls -5.5

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Full-Game Total Pick

The under has been the result in 3 of the last 4 meetings between these teams at the United Center in addition to being 3-1 in the last 4 road games for the Cavaliers.  Furthermore, it has been the play in the last 5 home games for the Bulls.  I see the Bulls having a decent night on the defensive end versus a struggling Cleveland offense while scoring just enough to cover and get the win in what will be a low-scoring affair.

Under 218