|-1.5 CHI (-110) @ williamhill|
10* Chicago (8:05 ET): When the Bulls traded for Nikola Vucevic last month, it was supposed to lead to a charge up the Eastern Conference standings. Instead, the team is now 3-9 SU since that trade and on a five-game losing streak (also 0-5 ATS) following last night’s defeat at the hands of Memphis. Obviously, leading scorer Zach LaVine being in COVID protocol doesn’t help. But recent losses to the likes of Orlando and Minnesota are downright inexcusable when in the stretch run. As ugly as things have gotten here in the Windy City, I just can’t see the Bulls losing at home tonight to lowly Cleveland.
The Cavaliers are actually just two games back of the Bulls, which should be a major wake-up call for the home team tonight. The Cavs are very much a bottom five team in the league, despite their “closeness” to the Bulls in the standings right now. I make that statement based on their YTD point differential and net efficiency rating. Cleveland is the worst offensive team in the NBA on a per game and per possession basis. If Chicago can’t win this one, they really ought to be ashamed of themselves.
The last time these teams met was last month and the Cavs did win here in Chicago, 103-94 as 7.5-point underdogs. But as you can see, we’re getting a MUCH shorter line with the home team in this one. The Bulls were just 28.6% from three-point range in that last meeting, a number I expect them to improve upon tonight. Cleveland has lost 8 of 11 since beating the Bulls, so they’re in no better shape. I can’t see the Bulls’ defense being as bad as it was in the 2H last night. This is a classic “buy low” spot. 10* Chicago