Cavaliers vs Bulls Odds, Picks, and Predictions Tonight: Mitchell Makes Chicago Pay from Deep

If there's one thing the Bulls love to do, it's let opponents take as many shots from deep as possible. And with that, our NBA picks believe Donovan Mitchell will happily take this opportunity to let it fly from beyond the arc.

Feb 28, 2024 • 13:11 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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The Cleveland Cavaliers were the hottest team of 2024, but the All-Star Break appears to have robbed them of their momentum, just 2-2 outright this week and 0-4 against the spread. Fortunately, the Chicago Bulls may present a salve with NBA odds listing Chicago as the home underdog.

The Bulls’ season has obviously been a letdown, and there is no rebound coming. The focus is usually on Chicago’s average offense, one that has theoretical potential if Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine are ever healthy at the same time. But some focus and blame should go to the Bulls’ defense, never a strength but somehow still not good even without those defensively two sub-par guards.

Doubting Chicago’s defense tonight points in one specific Cleveland direction in my free NBA picks for the Cavaliers vs. Bulls on February 28.

Cavaliers vs Bulls odds

Cavaliers vs Bulls predictions

Since January 1, no one in the NBA has encouraged opponents to shoot as many threes as the Chicago Bulls. Opponents have taken 46% of their field goals from beyond the arc against Chicago in those 24 games, a number so high it can be tied only to defensive design — a faulty design at that.

But the greater problem for the Bulls is opponents make 37.6% of those 3-pointers, the seventh-highest percentage in the NBA since Jan. 1. No wonder Chicago is exactly 12-12 since New Year’s Day, including a loss to the Pistons last night.

Detroit was seemingly mediocre from deep, 14 of 37, 37.8%. And while that percentage is higher than league average, the bigger issue was the 37 attempts when you realize the Pistons average 31.1 threes per game. 

If Donovan Mitchell’s 3-point attempts jump tonight, Chicago is doomed. And these numbers all suggest they will, even though Donovan Mitchell already attempts 9.3 per game since the calendar flipped to 2024.

Mitchell has been making 39.5% of those attempts, and this back-to-back may encourage him to take only more threes to save his body from the wear of driving into traffic. Chicago will certainly encourage him to do so.

Setting Mitchell's made threes prop at just 3.5 makes plenty of sense despite him clearing it in 14 of 23 games in 2024. Eight of those 14 featured exactly four made threes. This 3.5 is the correct number... but not against the Bulls. And certainly not at plus money. That is a mispriced decision by the sportsbooks, one that brings us value.

My best bet: Donovan Mitchell Over 3.5 made threes (+105 at DraftKings)

Cavaliers vs Bulls same-game parlay

Donovan Mitchell Over 3.5 made threes

Mitchell Over 25.5 points

Cavaliers team total Over 110.5 points

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Creating a same-game parlay that pays out at +272 while effectively using the same bet for all three legs is a version of unexpected value. If this number was +172, that might make more sense.

If Mitchell hits four threes, he should clear 26 points. He has fallen short of 26 points while making four triples exactly once since New Year’s, and that was on Jan. 3 in an absolute blowout of the Wizards. He played only 24 minutes and took just 16 shots, no wonder he scored only 22 points.

In 24 games this season with at least four made threes, Mitchell has scored fewer than 26 points just one other time.

And if he's going to pour in 26 or more thanks to a volume of threes, while Cleveland takes about 40 of them — No. 3 in the NBA since New Year’s by taking 43.4% of its field-goal attempts from beyond the arc — then it seems rather likely the Cavs will hang a crooked number tonight.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Cavaliers vs Bulls spread and Over/Under analysis

The NBA apparently decided one week off would restore the entire league’s legs after four months of constant play. That was logical. Makes total sense. Nice job, NBA schedulers.

Both the Cavs and the Bulls are on the second night of a back-to-back tonight, Cleveland topping Dallas thanks to a 59-foot buzzer-beater from Max Strus while Chicago faceplanted against Detroit.

That latter issue may explain why this number jumped from -4 before those games to favoring the Cavs by -5 on early Wednesday morning, climbing as high as -6 before settling at -5.5.

Since Jan. 1 — a date chosen throughout this writeup simply to focus on pertinent results — Cleveland is 2-2 ATS on the second night of back-to-backs, while Chicago is 1-1 ATS. So no trend can be found, but anything within two buckets feels like a Cavaliers play given the expected availability of open threes tonight.

The total fell from 219.5 before last night’s games to 216.5 when Wednesday’s sun rose, then to 216 later in the morning. The Cavs make 38.4% of their threes, and getting 40 attempts up tonight could be enough to propel this game to an Over.

Cavaliers vs Bulls betting trend to know

The Cavaliers are 5-1-1 ATS against Chicago since Donovan Mitchell’s arrival before last season, and Cleveland has won all seven of those games outright. Find more NBA betting trends for Cavaliers vs. Bulls.

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Cavaliers vs Bulls game info

Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Chicago, Bally Sports Ohio

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