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Bulls vs Cavaliers Picks – James, Cavs Will Hold Off Pesky Bulls

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/15/2010 2:04:33 PM
NBA Odds: Cavaliers In Five

Online betting players will remember all too well, last year’s first-round series between Chicago and Boston, a series where four of the seven games went to overtime or more. The Bulls came up short in that series, and they may have an even bigger task on their hands when they take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bulls vs Cavaliers Odds: Cavaliers In Five

The Story

The Cavaliers ended the season on a four-game skid, all games in which LeBron James sat out, and they still had the best record in the league at 61-21. The Bulls had to battle and fight (sometimes, literally when it comes to coach Vinny Del Negro and president John Paxson) just to get to this point, winning four of their last five. These two split four games this season, winning one each at home and on the road, and only one of those games were decided by seven points or more, so we could be for another first-round barnburner like Chicago’s classic with Boston last year.


Bulls vs Cavaliers: Better Starters?

Derrick Rose put this team on his back over the last five games, putting up 28.2 points and 7.0 assists, and he basically got to the hoop at will. Joakim Noah averaged 14.4 boards over the last five games, and even Kirk Hinrich chipped in with 16.0 points down the stretch. Luol Deng has been consistent, and Taj Gibson had a solid rookie season, hitting the glass and providing tough defense.

The Cavs should have Shaquille O’Neal back in the starting lineup after missing a month and a half with a thumb injury, and he’ll join Mo Williams, Anthony Parker Antawn Jamison and of course, James, who should be the sportsbook favorite to repeat as the NBA’s MVP. James gives the Cavs in edge in this category because of his ability to make everyone better, and even more impressive than his No.2 ranking in the scoring race was that James was sixth in the league in assists.

Edge: Cavaliers

Bulls vs Cavaliers: Better Bench?

The first two off the bench for the Bulls are Flip Murray, who averaged 10.1 points in 29 games after coming over from Charlotte, and Brad Miller, who can also jump into the lineup to start off the game. However, it’s pretty bleak after that, which hurts their sports betting chances.

The Cavaliers’ bench is stacked with big men like Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hickson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Leon Power which will put pressure on the undersized Chicago front line. Delonte West is the first guard off the bench, while Jamario Moon will take some of the minutes left by “Boobie” Gibson, who is out for personal reasons. The Cavs are a lot deeper than people give them credit for.

Edge: Cavaliers

Bulls vs Cavaliers: X-Factor?

This series could come down to coaching, as Chicago’s Del Negro and Cleveland’s Mike Brown have different styles. Del Negro is very hands on, and he makes some interesting decisions. You also can’t count out whether his days are number after his rumored scuffle with Paxson, the president of the team, and that may affect his coaching, and his team. Brown, last year’s Coach of the Year, is obviously lucky to have a guy like James, who can do everything you want and more, but he guides the team with a steady hand, and he never gets too high or low.


Who’s Gonna Win?

If the Bulls are going to pull off the NBA betting upset, they’re going to need Rose to have the series of his life. He averaged just 17.0 points in three games against the Cavs, and he’ll have to raise that. James is now rested after sitting the last four games, and he’s itching to get back on the court, and the rest was needed as he was fifth in the league in minutes played at 39.0 minutes. People forget that he’s been playing this amount of time for seven years, and he’ll be refreshed for this series. The Bulls will push the Cavaliers way more than Toronto ever could, and even though the Bulls were one of the Cavaliers’ six losses at home this season, they won’t get another one in this series.

Pick: Cavaliers In Five

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