Cavs vs. Bulls Game 6 Betting: Can Cleveland close it out?

lebron-game-5-bullsFollowing two buzzer-beater games, the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled out a 106-101 win over the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of this playoff series. The Cavs now lead the series 3-2 heading into tonight’s Game 6 contest. So who’s got the upper hand as we visit the United Center in Chicago? Check out our analysis below, but first, here’s a look at the Game 6 betting line.

Game Time: Thursday (May 14th) at 8:00pm ET on ESPN Betting Line:
Chicago -2.5 (-110)    Over 192.5 (-110)
Cleveland (-110)        Under 192.5 (-110)

As you can see from our line, this is expected to be yet another close contest. And why not, since the last three have been decided by a total of 10 points. The only question is, who will come out on top of what’s expected to be another nail-biter. That said, let’s discuss some of the big factors to consider before betting on Game 6 between Cleveland and Chicago.

Paul Gasol will play Tonight

The Bulls took control of the series early on with a Game 3 victory, giving them a 2-1 series lead. However, that was with Gasol….or at least with the All-Star center playing over half the game before exiting with a hamstring injury. He’s since missed the last two contests, and Chicago has lost both of them. Gasol vows to play tonight, but the main concern is what level he’ll be playing at. ”I’ll be out there,” said Gasol. ”[What percentage?] I don’t know, but whatever percentage I will be, that’s what I’ll give.” Will a semi-healthy Gasol be enough to put the Bulls over the hump on their home floor?

LeBron could be LeBron Again

The story of last game was definitely the dominance of LeBron James, who scored 38 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out six assists and blocked three shots – all while committing no turnovers. Some of this came with Jimmy Butler on the bench in foul trouble, however, LeBron also scored at will when the “KingSlayer” was on the court too. Can James be this efficient again tonight? Assuming the answer is yes, then it’s very possible that Cleveland can close out the series.

pau-gasol-bulls-playoffsBulls Offense is struggling

As mentioned before, Gasol hasn’t played the past two games, and Chicago’s offense has sorely missed him. But even with Gasol, the Bulls offense devolves into everybody standing around and waiting for a perimeter player to make something happen. Cleveland forced three shot-clock violations, but these turnovers were just as much a product of Chicago’s sometimes-anemic offense. Can coach Tom Thibodeau get the X’s and O’s just right and break his team out of this funk?

Kyrie Irving may not be as Beat Up as thought

Irving was looking worse for the wear after Game 4, with a sore foot and knee tendinitis. These injuries seemed like they would force LeBron to carry even more of the load in Game 5. However, Irving actually played really well and shot 9-for-16 with 25 points in the contest. Assuming Irving can play healthy over the next 1-2 games, and return to the form that he had against the Boston Celtics, then this team has nothing to worry about.

An “On” Night for Butler and Rose could win it

Watching Chicago during these playoffs, it seems that the key to their success is Butler and Derrick Rose syncing up their good-shooting nights. Last time out was not one of these nights, with Rose making only 7-of-24 attempts, and Butler shooting a respectable 9-of-18. If these two can get on fire at the same time, then we could certainly be heading back to Cleveland for a seventh game.

Final Score Prediction: Chicago 97 – Cleveland 93