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Cavs vs. Bulls Pick NBA – Oct 31st + Bonus Pick

The Thunder lost last night to the Clippers. No surprise there. But it gets worse. The news this morning that Russell Westbrook will be out 4-6 weeks with an injury to his hand has taken things from bad to disaster in Okie City. My recommendation to take the UNDER on 58.5 wins looks more like a lock than ever – not that I’d ever wish ill-will on a player. Hopefully both KD and Westbrook get healthy soon because the West is a whole lot more fun with both of them at top speed.

It’s early in the season to make any snap judgments, but last night’s 2-0 ATS came pretty easily thanks to some obvious nerves and chemistry-evolution issues in Cleveland. Look, this team is going to be FINE. To quote Aaron Rodgers, “R-E-L-A-X” But it isn’t going to happen immediately. Laying 12 to a competitive, if not great, Knicks team in their debut was ridiculous. And it grabbed us an easy win to even the season record at two apiece.

Let’s keep the good mojo going into the weekend and see if we can stack up a few more early season NBA winners…

Today’s Free Picks:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls -4 (Total: 193)

It’s hard to fathom the Cavs playing as poorly tonight as they did last night, but it’s also hard to see them being better than the veteran and defensively-minded Chicago Bulls in the United Center. I think the Cavs will be on par with them and have a slightly higher ceiling than Chicago, but they are not at the level quite yet.

Cleveland will have defensive issues all season, even once they get acclimated to one another. They are below average at three of the positions on the floor. Look for Derek Rose to play much better tonight and for Pau Gasol to cause problems stretching the floor, especially when Varejao is out of the game. Chicago is also one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. Noah and Taj Gibson can easily cover any weaknesses Gasol adds, and they will contest everything at the rim.

Expect some more frustrations for the Cavaliers tonight as Chicago gets the win at home in a super-hyped early season matchup between the two best teams in the East.

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Free Pick: Chicago Bulls -4

Bonus Pick:

Memphis Grizzlies -5.5 at Indiana Pacers

Let’s recap: No Paul George, goodbye Lance Stevenson, and now George Hill and David West are on the shelf. Good luck Roy Hibbert and Rodney Stuckey! The Pacers have always been offensively challenged. Now they face one of the grittier, tough-minded teams in the NBA. They can barely score in practice. Now they get Tony Allen, Marc Gasol and company.

I don’t think Indiana can beat this team, even at home. I like Memphis to win by double-digits. Indiana may have won their opener with a depleted roster, but this ain’t the Philadelphia 76’ers tonight, it’s a long-time Western Conference playoff team. I’m backing the Grizz tonight on the road.

Free Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -5.5