Our NBA consultant provides us with a betting preview article on Game 3 of the Cleveland and Chicago playoff series. His focal point will be on the total in this contest, and he concludes this informative piece with a selection in that regard.
Game 3 of Cavaliers and Bulls Series on Friday in Cleveland
The Chicago Bulls will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series on Friday at 7:05 PM ET. According to the NBA odds at WagerWeb, Chicago is a -1.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 195.5. The series is currently tied at one game apiece. This will be the seventh overall meeting of the season between these Central Division rivals, and Cleveland has won four of the first six. Both meetings played in Chicago went over the total, and there were a combined average of 211.5 points scored per game.
Series Summary after Two Games
The Chicago Bulls have shot very well in the first two games from beyond the three-point line, converting on 17 of 40 attempts (42.5%). Their free throw shooting has certainly left a bit to be desired. The Bulls went a combined 29-for-41 from the charity stripe (70.7%) during the games in Cleveland. They held a 51-45 advantage on the boards in the series opener, and then were dominated 59-48 in the rebounding department during Game 2.
Cleveland shot poorly (26.9%) in Game 1 from three-point territory, and then were drastically better in Game 2 by going 12-for-26 (46.2%) with their long distance attempts. The Cavaliers were very good from the free throw line during the first two games of the series, going a combined 37-for-48 (77.1%). They also did a terrific job in protecting the basketball, committing only 9 turnovers in the series opener, and an even better 8 during Game 2.
Chicago will be facing an opponent (Cleveland) on Friday that averages 103.1 points per game this season. The Bulls have gone over the total in eight of nine home games this season versus opponents which average 103.0 or more points per contest. Those nine at the United Center in Chicago averaged a combined 216.7 points scored per game. Chicago has shot a sizzling 40.4% from beyond the three-point line during the 2015 NBA Playoffs.
Cleveland has committed 9 turnovers or less in each of their previous three games. The Cavaliers have gone over the total in 15 of 22 (68.2%) this season after committing 14 turnovers or less in each of their previous three games, and those contests averaged a combined 208.2 points per outing. The Cavaliers have averaged 29 free throw attempts per game during the playoffs, and that’s a significant improvement compared to their season average of 24.
This should be a closely contested game throughout, and I fully expect the pace to be an entertaining one. I’m favoring a high scoring affair for one of my NBA picks on Friday.
NBA Pick: Play on Cleveland and Chicago to go over the total of 195.5 at WagerWeb