The Cleveland Cavaliers (23-9) look to snap the seven-game winning streak of Chicago when they welcome the Bulls (10-20) to Quicken Loans Arena. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 213 points with Cleveland set as an 11.5-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 21, 2017, and it can be seen on Fox Sports – Ohio.
Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers Free Preview
The last time the Bulls played, they easily got past the Orlando Magic, 112-94. Denzel Valentine was Chicago’s leading scorer with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting. The Bulls held the Magic to an offensive rebounding percentage of 12.5 (below their season average of 19.1) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.563 (above their season average of 0.488).
The Cavaliers are hoping for a better outcome after their 119-116 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in their last contest. LeBron James was the top scorer from either team with 39 points on 14-for-22 shooting. Milwaukee had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (23.1 vs. 17.9). Cleveland, meanwhile, had a better effective field goal percentage (0.600 vs. 0.591).
From an effective field goal percentage perspective, Cleveland figures to have a noteworthy edge. The elite Cavaliers offense ranks third in the league in that metric at 0.560, while the bottom-tier Chicago defense is ranked 21st in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.526). Ball protection should be an advantage for the Bulls. They rank 3rd at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 13.2 percent), while the Cavaliers force the seventh-fewest turnovers in the NBA (opponents turnover percentage of 13.7 percent).
Of Chicago’s 29 games with betting action, 15 have finished under the projected point total, while 17 of Cleveland’s 32 games have finished over the projected point total. The Cavaliers hold the significant advantage straight up (SU) (23-9 vs. 10-20), but the Bulls have the superior against the spread (ATS) record (15-11-3 vs. 11-20-1).
Nikola Mirotic and Kris Dunn have been playing well over the last five games for Chicago. Mirotic has averaged 23.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, while Dunn has recorded 16.2 points, 6.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
These two teams have already met twice this year, with the Cavaliers winning both. In the most recent contest, Kevin Love scored a game-high 24 points and the Cavaliers beat the Bulls 113-91, covering as 8.5-point favorites. He also had 13 rebounds. The two teams combined to score 204 points, which was 6 points below the projected point total of 210 points. The Cavaliers played a nearly perfect game. They had an extraordinarily low turnover percentage of 7.3 and a solid effective field goal percentage of 0.599. For those same stats, the Bulls were 10.9 and 0.470, respectively.
Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Cavaliers, ATS Winner – Cavaliers, O/U – Over
- The Cavaliers rank 15th in points in the paint per game (43.3) while the Bulls rank 28th (39.3).
- Chicago averages 44.8 rebounds per game, which ranks ninth in the NBA. Cleveland ranks 15th in rebounds allowed per game (43.0).
- Chicago ranks fifth in steals allowed per game (7.0) while Cleveland ranks 11th (7.8).
- Cleveland is 2-14-1 ATS at home, while Chicago is 8-6-1 ATS on the road.
- The Bulls have 9 overs and 6 unders in 15 road games.
- The Cavaliers have 9 overs and 8 unders in 17 home games.
- In games where they hold opponents under 100 points, Chicago is 4-5 and Cleveland is 10-0.
- When reaching the century mark, the Bulls are 9-6 and the Cavaliers are 23-7.
- The Cavaliers rank fourth in blocks allowed per game (4.1) while the Bulls rank 10th (4.5).
- Cleveland averages 24.0 assists per game, which ranks fourth in the NBA. Chicago ranks 26th in assists allowed per game (24.5).
- The Cavaliers average 32.7 three pointers per game, which ranks third in the NBA. The Bulls rank 23rd in three pointers allowed per game (30.2).
- Cleveland ranks 13th in points off turnovers per game (17.2) while Chicago ranks 28th (14.3).
- Cleveland is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Chicago is 5-0 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Cavaliers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 6.2, up from 3.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bulls have scored an average of 111.0 points per game (11.7 above their season average) and allowed an average of 100.6 points per game (5.2 below their season average).