Cavs vs. Bulls, Rockets vs. Clippers Game 3 NBA Playoffs Betting Lines

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
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Cavs vs. Bulls, Rockets vs. Clippers Game 3 NBA Playoffs Betting Lines

Carrie Stroup here with your Cavs vs. Bulls and Rockets vs. Clippers Game 3 NBA Playoffs betting lines courtesy of our friends at


Eastern Conference – Semifinals – Game 3 Line: Chicago -2.0, Total: 195.5

The Cavaliers and Bulls head to Chicago on Friday for Game 3 of this 1-1 series.

After losing Game 1 at home, the Cavaliers came out and played with a lot of desperation in Game 2. Cleveland jumped all over Chicago, winning 106-91 as a 5.5-point favorite. The team held the Bulls to just 40.5% shooting from the field on the defensive end and also caught fire offensively. The Cavaliers were just 37-for-83 (44.6%) from the field, but they were an outrageous 12-for-26 (46.2%) from behind the arc. They also outrebounded the Bulls 59-48 and turned the ball over just eight times compared to 12 for Chicago.

The Cavaliers have had trouble in Chicago in recent years though. They are a lousy 3-7 SU and 5-5 ATS in their past 10 trips to the United Center. Cleveland has also been terrible as an underdog this season, going 3-12 ATS in those games. The Cavs have, however, gone 33-21 ATS after covering in four or five of their past six games over the past two seasons.

The Bulls, meanwhile, are 17-6 ATS when revenging a loss versus an opponent by 10 points or more over the past two seasons. The Cavs are without PF Kevin Love (Shoulder) and C Anderson Varejao (Achilles) for the rest of the playoffs, and SG Iman Shumpert (Groin) is questionable. The Bulls are going to enter this game at full strength.

The Cavaliers came out with tons of intensity in Game 2 and SF LeBron James (26.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 6.7 APG, 2.3 SPG in playoffs) had 33 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block in what was a truly dominant performance. James will need to play with the same intensity for the remainder of the series.

PG Kyrie Irving (24.0 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.7 RPG, 1.2 SPG in playoffs) had 21 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field in the victory. He was getting to the line (10-for-12 FT) and must continue to take high percentage shots moving forward. He was forcing things a bit in Game 1.

SG Iman Shumpert (10.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.3 SPG in playoffs) had 15 points and seven boards in Game 2, but he hurt his groin and is questionable for Game 3. Shumpert would be a big loss for the team, as he is playing excellent defense and knocking down shots when James and Irving find him spotting up.

PF Tristan Thompson (6.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG in playoffs) had five points and 12 boards in his Game 2 start. Cleveland needs him to be strong on the glass and sound defensively against Pau Gasol.

The Cavs will be happy to welcome back SG J.R. Smith (9.8 PPG in playoffs) for Game 3. Smith was suspended the first two games of this series, and will provide the team with a consistent scoring option moving forward.

The Bulls did not come out with the necessary amount of fire in Game 2, but they’ll be happy to head back to Chicago after earning a win in Cleveland in Game 1. The team has now taken home court advantage in the series and will be excited to head back to the United Center.

SF Jimmy Butler (23.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, 2.5 SPG in playoffs) is the most important player for the Bulls in this series. He had 18 points, two steals and a block in Game 2, but he did not do as well defensively as he did in Game 1. He is going to need to contain LeBron James moving forward and he’s also going to have to do a better job rebounding the ball, as he had just two rebounds in Game 2 after averaging 5.8 RPG during the regular season.

PG Derrick Rose (19.1 PPG, 6.8 APG, 4.8 RPG, 1.3 SPG in playoffs) had 14 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds on Wednesday. He has looked very good in this series, but he could do a better job of shooting the basketball. He is just 17-for-46 from the field in this series and must be more efficient in Game 3.

PF Pau Gasol (16.3 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, 2.3 BPG in playoffs) was a non-factor in Game 2. He had just 11 points and four boards in 29 minutes of action and will need to be better the rest of the series. He has a major height advantage over Tristan Thompson and must use it to score in the post.


Western Conference – Semifinals – Game 3 Line: Los Angeles -4.5, Total: 216.5

The Rockets look to steal a win in Los Angeles when they face the Clippers in Game 3 Friday.

The Clippers played extremely well in the first two games of this series and will now look to carry their momentum into the Staples Center. The difference in Game 2 really came down to the rebounding battle, as Houston outrebounded Los Angeles 73-49. That huge difference gave the Clippers a very small margin for error and they must be better on the glass on Friday.

Over the past three seasons, the Clippers are 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS when hosting the Rockets. Four of those five games happened to go Under the total. The Rockets are 25-10 ATS after a game where they failed to cover the spread this season and 12-4 ATS after playing four consecutive games as a favorite as well. The Clippers, meanwhile, are 26-14 ATS after two straight games with 10 or less offensive rebounds on the year.

The Rockets are without SG K.J. McDaniels (Elbow), PF Donatas Motiejunas (Back) and PG Patrick Beverley (Wrist) for the season. PG Chris Paul (Hamstring) is questionable for Los Angeles, but the expectation is that he will play after sitting both games in Houston.

The Rockets were on the verge of going down 2-0 and then SG James Harden (27.7 PPG, 8.3 APG, 3.9 RPG, 1.6 SPG in playoffs) took his game to another level. The superstar had 32 points, seven assists, three rebounds, one steal and a block in 35 minutes of action in Game 2. He was 7-for-17 from the field and a perfect 15-for-15 from the charity stripe. He’ll need to bring the same intensity from the opening tip on Friday.

C Dwight Howard (18.4 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 3.4 BPG in playoffs) was also great in Game 2. Howard had 24 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks and three assists in 35 minutes of action. He was 8-for-11 from the field, but he was a major liability when the Clippers went to the “Hack-A-Shaq”. Howard finished the game 8-for-21 from the free-throw line and must find a way to knock down more shots from there moving forward. If he doesn’t then he may need to come off the court, which limits what the Rockets can do defensively.

SF Trevor Ariza (10.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.3 SPG in playoffs) has really struggled with his shot in the postseason. He is shooting just 34.3% from the field and 24.2% from the outside, but he has been playing excellent defense and is doing his part on the glass. If he can get his shot to fall then the Rockets will like their chances of stealing back a win in Los Angeles.

The Clippers were able to earn a huge victory in Game 1, and they did it without PG Chris Paul (22.7 PPG, 7.9 APG, 4.6 RPG, 2.0 SPG in playoffs). Paul is questionable for Game 3 and would be a huge boost if he can give it a go. He likely won’t be 100% as he deals with this hamstring injury, but the Rockets are weak at the point guard position and would struggle to come up with an answer for Los Angeles’ superstar.

With Paul out, PF Blake Griffin (25.4 PPG, 13.4 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.2 BPG in playoffs) has emerged as the story of the postseason. Griffin has been the most dominant player in the playoffs this year and is coming off of a game where he scored 34 points and also grabbed 15 rebounds in 41 minutes. He has been doing everything on the floor and must continue to hold it down in the paint for Los Angeles.

C DeAndre Jordan (12.7 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 2.7 BPG in playoffs) was impressive in Game 3, finishing with 16 points,12 rebounds and two blocks on 6-for-6 shooting from the field and 4-for-6 shooting from the free-throw line. If he is knocking down his shots from the charity stripe then the Rockets will not be able to hack him too often.

- Carrie Stroup,  Senior Reporter

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