Cavaliers vs. Bulls NBA Pick: Can Chicago Stave Off Elimination & Force Game 7?

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 7:05 PM GMT

Will the Cavaliers receive another huge effort from LeBron James and close out the series? Read this informative piece and find out all you need to know before placing your NBA pick on this game 6.

 

Bulls attempt to stave off Elimination in Game 6
Chicago will be facing elimination for the first time in the 2015 NBA Playoffs when they host Cleveland on Thursday at 8:05 PM ET. After taking a 2-1 series lead, Chicago has dropped the last two games, and are now on the brink of elimination. According to the NBA betting odds at Bookmaker, Chicago is a 1.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 192.5. These Central Division rivals have seen three of their four meetings in Chicago this season go over the total. They’ve also seen three of the previous four in this series surpass the number.

 

The King and his Court
LeBron James has stepped up in a huge way during the last two wins for Cleveland, escalating them to a 3-2 series lead, and they’re now just one victory away from a spot in the conference finals. In Game 4 “King James” hit the winning shot at the buzzer during Cleveland’s 86-84 triumph. James finished that contest with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists. Then on Tuesday he was absolutely brilliant in scoring 38 points, pulling down 12 rebounds, and handing out 6 assists during a 106-101 Cavaliers win.

 

Bulls in a Bind
It’s a win or else scenario for the Chicago Bulls in Game 6. They can take some solace in the fact they’ve gone a solid 30-16 on their home floor this season. However, they’re just a mediocre 3-2 at the United Center in Chicago during the playoffs. The outstanding defensive play that Chicago exhibited in the playoffs and during the final stretch of the regular season wasn’t apparent in their Game 5 loss. They allowed Cleveland to shoot a robust 50.6% from the field in addition to putting up 106 points. It marked just the third time in eleven playoff games in which Chicago surrendered 100 points or more. If they hope to say alive in the series, Chicago must find a way to improve their shooting from the field. They’ve shot a dismal 38.4% from the floor during the last four games of this series. Chicago has been able to stay competitive in those four games by excelling at the free throw line. The Bulls have gone a superb 82-for-94 (87.2%) from the charity stripe during that span.

 

Final Analysis
Despite the exceptional efforts of LeBron James in Games 4 and 5, Cleveland narrowly escaped with a win on each occasion. The status of Pau Gasol for Game 6 certainly will be something to keep an eye on. Gasol had been playing at an extremely high level in these playoffs prior to sustaining a hamstring injury late in Game 3 of this series. He’s been absent from the lineup in each of the losses suffered by the Bulls during the last two games.

Cleveland has gone 1-9 SU&ATS in their last ten games this season as a road underdog, and that includes 0-4 SU&ATS in the previous four as a road underdog of 4.0 or less. Chicago has gone a perfect 5-0 SU&ATS in their last five games this season as a home favorite of 4.0 or less, and won those contests by an average of 10.8 points per outing. I’m going to have a very small lean toward the home team for one of my  NBA picks on Thursday.

NBA Pick: Play on Chicago -1.5 over Cleveland at BookMaker.