Hawks -2 vs. Cavaliers for your NBA Picks

Doug Upstone

Thursday, December 26, 2013 2:29 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013 2:29 PM GMT

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be hosting the Atlanta Hawks on this boxing day Thursday. Where does the best value lie?

Just how bad is the Eastern Conference these days? The Atlanta Hawks, who are 15-13, are in third place. That’s right, folks: the Hawks (and Toronto Raptors) would have home-court advantage in the first-round. That’s because a lot of teams that were supposed to be on the come-up – like the Cleveland Cavaliers – have been major disappointments. We’ll see if Cleveland can change the trajectory of their season starting on Boxing Day.

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The Atlanta Hawks can win because…

Lately, they’ve been a great team to bet. The Hawks have won three of four and covered the spread in each game. That lone loss was on the road in Miami in their most recent game when they blew a seven-point lead with just 90 seconds remaining. They’ve covered in seven of their last 10.

The Hawks dominate this series as they’ve won 10 of the last 12 meetings with Cleveland. They’ve also won five straight in Cleveland. Those numbers alone should give you reason to take the Hawks with your NBA picks.

The Cleveland Cavaliers can win because…

The Hawks are not a good road team. Atlanta has lost five straight away games while allowing 111 points per game. Some of those road losses include defeats in New York and in Washington. If they’re vulnerable to lose in those spots, they can definitely lose in Cleveland.

The Hawks won the first meeting of the season between these teams but Kyrie Irving went scoreless in that game. Considering he averages 21.5 points per game, it’s safe to say that the Cavs will have an excellent shot to win this game assuming Irving doesn’t lay another egg.

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Outlook & Pick

It’s tough to recommend Cleveland for your sports picks in this spot. They’ve dropped four of five and some of those losses have been ugly. Their lone win in that span was a 114-111 overtime home win over the struggling Milwaukee Bucks. They’ve also lost to Detroit (at home) and Chicago (on the road).

The Hawks are not a great road team but they were playing well heading into the Christmas Break. Since they are such a small favorite on the NBA odds, I’ll add them to my sports picks picks and bank on their momentum continuing.

NBA Pick: Hawks -2 at 5Dimes

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