Cavaliers vs. Hawks Predictions: Up-Tempo Matchup Expected In Atlanta - Pick 'Over'

Jay Pryce

Monday, October 10, 2016 7:00 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 7:00 PM UTC

The Cavs plan to rest LeBron James and the rest of the starting five as two roster spots play out in Monday night's preseason road game at Atlanta. Find here our NBA Pick and betting preview before tonight's preseason action.



Cleveland Cavaliers (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)

Cleveland nipped the 76ers 108-105 on Saturday to go 2-0 to begin its seven-game preseason schedule. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each dropped 15 points in 17 minutes of play.

Former 2014 second-round pick Jordan McRae led all scorers with 20 points in 29 minutes, however. The guard signed on with the reigning champions in March of last season, splitting time between the Canton Charge of the D-League and the big club. Expect to see a lot of him against the Hawks.

The Cavs will feature four players versus Atlanta attempting to win the team’s final two roster spots: Jordan McRae, DeAndre Liggins, Dahntay Jones, and Toney Douglas. Head coach Tyronn Lue, in fact, told reporters after the Philly win that the starting five plus Richard Jefferson, Mike Dunleavy, and Channing Frye would not play on Monday night.

The 6-foot-5 McRae is 14-of-27 in two games, tied for 11th best in the NBA this preseason at 20.0 points per game. He can play both guard spots and looks to have one of the final positions nailed down with a partially guaranteed contract. He dropped 36 points in Cleveland’s final regular-season game last season, an 112-110 win over the Pistons.

The Cavs have won 11 in a row over the Hawks in the regular and postseasons, going 9-2 against the spread across the board.



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Atlanta Hawks (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)

The Hawks look a lot different this season. In are Dwight Howard and Jarrett Jack, out are Jeff Teague and Al Horford. But the new faces have hardly touched the court. Like the Cavs are projected to do in this matchup, head coach Mike Budenholzer rested his projected starting five in Atlanta’s 102-90 defeat to the Spurs on Saturday night.  Mike Muscala, Kent Bazemore, Howard, Dennis Schroeder and Kyle Korver each put in roughly 18 minutes in the team’s 104-83 preseason-opening win, and that’s it. Expect another 20-minute window Monday night.

Center Edy Tavares is the Hawks’ top scorer with 10.5 per game through the firs two. The 7-foot-3 Cape Verde international averaged 6.6 minutes in 11 games played last season.

Former European league standout Malcolm Delaney is the surprise player thus far. The one-time Virginia Tech Hokie finished with 13 points and 6 assists in 24 minutes against the San Antonio.


Final Analysis

Atlanta’s second unit held their own against the Spurs last time out, showing some real scoring potential. The Cavs’ roster fight ought to open up the game with each guy wanting to post big numbers. Lue likes a quick pace, and the second unit is letting the game get away while on the court. Through the first two games, the combined scores are 109 and 115 in the second halves. Expect another quick-shot contest tonight, for my NBA Pick I choose the Hawks and OVER in the game.


Free NBA Pick: Over 198.5 (-110)
Best Line Offered: at Intertops


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