Can the Cavaliers pull ahead of the Bulls in game 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals or will the visitors upset the NBA odds. Find out as we breakdown this matchup and serve up our NBA picks.
Drama, Drama, Drama
The Eastern Conference semi-final clash between the Bulls and the Cavaliers is poised for another dramatic showdown tonight in Cleveland, marking game 5 of the series with the pair all square at two wins apiece. By the NBA odds board, the balance tips in favor of the hosts. Considerably so, seeing as they have home advantage for game 5 and are coming off a series-tying (saving, even?) win in game 4. But are the NBA odds too overzealous for a series that is tighter than a tightrope?
The Bulls opened the series with a stunning 99-92 road upset in Cleveland and, in the process, rocked the Cavs' smug stance in NBA betting futures markets. However, NBA bettors had an inkling this was only the beginning the drama. And so it was.
A bandana-clad LeBron James emerged in game 2 and steered the Cavaliers to the emphatic 106- 91 win, all while covering as the 6-point home chalk. The series shifted to Chicago for game 3 where, not surprisingly, the Bulls snatched back the momentum and won 99-96, behind a Derrick-Rose-inspired three-pointer at the buzzer. The win saw the Bulls cover as the 2.5-point home chalk.
Not to be outdone by his rival and nemises, LeBron James sealed the 86-84 win in similar fashion on Sunday, hitting a jumper at the buzzer and denying the Bulls a crack at the overtime. Once again, leading his side to a pivotal victory in the series James finished with 25 points. It's interesting to note that for game 4, it was the Cavs who were favored in NBA betting markets, albeit while they did come through for straight up bettors they failed to cover the close-of-betting 3-point spread.
Bulls vs. Cavs Betting Odds
As it stands, the Cavs are massive -225 favorites on the NBA odds board for game 5, while the Bulls are trading as the significant underdogs at +185 NBA odds. What's more, the Cavs are the 5.5-point home chalk. On the whole, a rather biased NBA betting line, don't you think?
Consider how tight this series has been so far, the back-and-forth action on the court and the momentum swings from game-to-game, never mind the fact that there is no love lost between these rivals, the NBA betting line does appear to be slightly overzealous. It favors Cleveland too much at the expense of a severely disadvantaged Bulls.
Make no mistake, The Cavs deserve to be the favorites at home. However, not at those lofty prices. They did after all drop a home game to the Bulls in this series, and they are 1-5 ATS against the Bulls in their last six meetings. There's also the growing injury list, which includes LeBron James; although he played through his sprained ankle on Sunday. It's quite obvious, the Cavs' NBA playoffs hopes rest almost exclusively on his broad shoulders. Should he buckle to his injury or be hindered by it on Tuesday night, they might be in a bit of a pickle.
The Bulls have a bit of a chip on their shoulder when it comes to the Cavs. They 'd love nothing better than to upset LeBron James and Co. after being on the receiving end on a few occasions. They proved they have the confidence to take it to the Cavs on the road importantly, which is hard to ignore when making your NBA picks.
NBA Betting Verdict:
If the Cavs are to take over this series, this is the time to do it. When they have home advantage in game 5 and the momentum behind a game 4 win. No side has enjoyed back-to-back wins yet in this series. Take the Cavs to win straight up at -225 NBA odds on your sports betting picks. (Yes, the NBA odds are a tad high, but not too high to make us give them a pass).
As far as the spread betting markets go, we're leaning towards the Bulls to cover as the 5.5-point road pups on our NBA picks. Why? Well, the last two games were decided by a basket (2 and 3-pointers). The Cavs are 1-5 ATS in their last six meetings with the Bulls. Finally, the Cavs are the walking wounded of this series, which should allow the Bulls to keep it close.