Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls Preview (12/31/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds
The ever-inconsistent Chicago Bulls host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night as a part of the New Year’s Eve slate for the NBA. In preparation for this game, look at the detailed analysis below, including our game prediction, betting picks, injury reports, and current odds!
Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Chicago Bulls Betting Odds
The Cleveland Cavaliers are 3.5-point road favorites against the Chicago Bulls. Ricky Rubio, Dean Wade, and Dylan Windler are out for the Cavaliers, while Cedi Osman and Robin Lopez should be game-time decisions. Alex Caruso, Javonte Green, and Patrick Williams should be available for Chicago. Additionally, Coby White and Derrick Jones Jr are questionable, and Lonzo Ball remains out due to the lingering knee injury that has sidelined him indefinitely.
Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction
Cleveland has had a terrific 2022-23 season thus far but has to improve its consistency and road effort; it is merely 6-10 away from Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks all have better road records in the Eastern Conference than Cleveland.
Road games have been a thorn in Cleveland’s side this season, which doesn’t make sense, considering the Cavs have the third-best net rating away from Rocket Morgage. Cleveland does have some shooting struggles on the road, but nothing too significant; it shoots 47% from the floor and just shy of 36% from behind the arc. Essentially, the Cavs shoot two-percent worse when they aren’t in Cleveland. The second half (of road games) seems to be where the issue lies, as they barely eclipse 50 points on average on sub-33% shooting from deep.
If Cleveland wants to take the next step this season and compete with Boston, Brooklyn, and Milwaukee for the title of “best team in the Eastern Conference,” it has to perform better in front of opposing crowds in crunch time.
Chicago has surprisingly won four of its past five games, with three coming on the road. The Bulls were able to hold the Milwaukee Bucks off at home despite an absurd 45-point, 22-rebound, seven-assist effort from MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The key to Chicago’s success during this stretch has been its shooting and ball protection. In the past five games, the Bulls have shot a team 49/39/80 shooting split while averaging merely ten turnovers per game. Chicago can manage with its middle-of-the-road defense if it continues shooting and protecting the ball at this level.
For this matchup, I will lean on the Bulls against the spread, assuming the players mentioned above listed as questionable can play. Chicago might not win, but it could stay close with DeMar DeRozan’s recent play.
- Cleveland is 5-10-1 ATS on the road in 2022-23
- Chicago is 7-9 ATS at home in 2022-23
- The combined over record of these two teams is 33-37 in 2022-23
Two high-octane scorers, DeMar DeRozan and Donovan Mitchell make up our key matchup in this Eastern Conference bout. Check out the analysis for which player has the advantage below!
DeMar DeRozan vs. Donovan Mitchell
The first matchup between these two players was bizarre; DeMar DeRozan played 33 minutes and finished with merely 13 points on 3-for-9 shooting from the field, while Donovan Mitchell almost posted a triple-double with 32 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. This is a tough matchup for the Bulls and DeRozan, as Cleveland has the best defense in the NBA (first in defensive rating.) Mitchell’s matchup against Zach LaVine is a much easier matchup than DeRozan against Isaac Okoro and Lamar Stevens. Mitchell should be in line for another big game. Advantage: Mitchell
Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup
PG: Darius Garland
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Lamar Stevens
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen
Chicago Bulls Starting Lineups
PG: Ayo Dosunmu
SG: Zach LaVine
SF: DeMar DeRozan
PF: Patrick Williams
C: Nikola Vucevic
Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries: Cedi Osman (Q), Robin Lopez (Q), Ricky Rubio (Out), Dylan Windler (Out), Dean Wade (Out)
Chicago Bulls Injuries: Derrick Jones Jr (Q), Coby White (Q), Lonzo Ball (Out)