NBA Playoff Betting – Bulls, Cavs kick off first-round series in Cleveland

Luol Deng and LeBron JamesNBA playoff betting players will surely remember Chicago’s first-round series with Boston in last year’s playoffs, a seven-game classic in which four games went to a total of seven overtime periods. Can the Bulls come out on top this time when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers? The series tips off in Cleveland on Saturday afternoon.

Chicago Bulls vs Cleveland Cavaliers odds – Saturday, April 17, 3:00 PM ET

The Bulls won four of their last five games to storm ahead of Toronto into the final playoff spot, and the driving force was Derrick Rose, who put up 28.2 points and 7.0 assists in those five games, shooting a blistering 56% from the floor as he got his shot off at will against anyone who guarded him. Joakim Noah looks to be healthy again, averaging 16.2 points and 14.4 boards in his last five games, but there is some strife surrounding Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro, who reportedly got into a scuffle with president John Paxson over Noah’s minutes as he was coming back from a foot injury, and this should pretty much seal his ticket out of the Windy City. How will that affect their team and their NBA championship odds?

The Cavaliers lost their last four games of the season as they sat LeBron James, the sports book favorite to repeat as the league’s MVP, so we shouldn’t make a big deal out of this skid as it basically told us what we already knew about Cleveland: they’re a mess without the league’s best player. But when he’s in the lineup as he has been for most of the season, the Cavaliers are arguably the NBA’s best team, and they ended up with the best record in the league. The Cavs should also have Shaquille O’Neal back in the lineup after missing a month and a half with a bad thumb. Still, it’s all about LeBron in this series.

The Cavaliers are the favorites to win the NBA title, so they’ve obviously the favorites in this series, and they will be in the first game. These two split four meetings this season, and the Bulls were even one of six home losses for the Cavaliers, but they have lost seven of their last 10 in Cleveland. James will be rested and ready to go for the first game of the playoffs, and he’s averaged 25.7 points, 8.0 assists, and 8.0 boards in three games against the Bulls. Rose will have to get off to a good start, but as good as the Cavaliers are at home, and a refreshed James, you should take the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday in your online sports betting picks.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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