The Cleveland Cavaliers looked like the best team in the NBA betting on Saturday as they dominated the Chicago Bulls 96-83 in Game 1 of their playoff series. The Cavaliers will try and make it two straight on Monday as they host the Bulls in Game 2 on TNT.
Cleveland is a 10.5 point favorite with a total of 191 at SBG Global.
Cleveland pushed the Bulls around in Game 1 as LeBron James had 24 points while Shaquille O’Neal looked like an All-Star. The Cavaliers pounded the Bulls on the board as they outrebounded Chicago 50-38. Joakim Noah is the only power player the Bulls have down low and he was no match for O’Neal. “We have some length up front,” Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. “We’re not the biggest team, obviously, but we’ve done a nice job rebounding all year. But [the Cavs'] combination of guys causes a lot of problems. Shaq can wear you down.” Shaq had 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in just under 25 minutes while Anderson Vajejao had 15 rebounds. “It’s something we’ve been looking forward to all season,” James said. “We have a lot of size, a lot of depth. We showed it.”
Game 1 was not really as close as the 13 point final margin of victory. The Cavaliers led 68-46 and just cruised the rest of the way. Derrick Rose had 28 points and actually got Chicago within 7 points in the fourth quarter at one point before faltering. “In the NBA betting playoffs, possessions are huge,” Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. “(Varejao) had a lot of them for us. You see it in the 15 rebounds but he got many more 50-50 balls that may not show up in the stat column. The energy he brings to the game when it comes to earning more possessions is off the charts. He can be a pest.”
The Bulls are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog. The Bulls are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games. The Bulls are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Cleveland.
The Cavaliers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 Conference Quarterfinals games. The Cavaliers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games.
The Under is 4-0 in the Bulls last 4 overall. The Under is 4-1 in the Bulls last 5 road games. The Under is 23-9-1 in the Cavaliers last 33 vs. the Central. The Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings between the two teams.