How to Bet Close NBA Odds in Cavaliers vs. Hawks Game 1

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 2:56 PM GMT

Wednesday, May. 20, 2015 2:56 PM GMT

The Hawks will be hosting the Cavaliers tonight in their series opener; and the Hawks are the ones being favored by the NBA odds makers. Read this betting preview to see what our NBA pick will be for this game. 

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks (-1)  8:30 ET TNT TV
Round 3 begins in the Eastern Conference Finals with Atlanta hosting Cleveland in their best of 7 series. These teams have not played each other since December 30th.  Atlanta holds a 2-1 season series edge with victories of 8 points on this court and 29 points in Cleveland, preceded by a 33 point loss in Cleveland.  All of that took place prior to the Cleveland makeover in mid-January. After 2 series of the NBA Playoffs, Atlanta has struggled to an 8-4 SU record but just 4-8 ATS.  Brooklyn and Washington each proved to be more formidable than Atlanta had expected.  A strong home court that was 36-5 SU in the regular season is just 4-2 SU in the Playoffs.  For Cleveland, they dispatched Boston in 4 games (all wins by 8 or more points) before winning the last 3 games of the Chicago series to end the Bulls’ season with a 4-2 series victory. Though Atlanta has a .708 win percentage for the season to a .663 win percentage for Cleveland, the paragraphs below will show why Cleveland is accurately priced as the better team on the NBA odds.

Along the way to a 43-11 All-Star Break record, Atlanta recorded a 19-0 SU winning streak, playing near flawless basketball on both ends of the court.  Since the All-Star Break, however, the Hawks have gone just 25-17 SU for a .595 winning percentage.  Credit 2nd year HC Budenholzer for the resurgence after the Hawks won just 41 games last season (eliminated in the 1st round) and were projected to win just 43 games this year.  Turning the Hawks into the San Antonio of the East provided huge rewards.  Without a superstar, this team shares the basketball and plays without ego. Little has been made of the loss of defensive stopper, Sefolosha, who missed the majority of the 2nd half of the season with a broken fibula.  He was a major glue piece in the Atlanta success.  Millsap and Horford are outstanding on the interior for the Hawks, while lead guard, Teague, is capable of a breakout performance.  But, it must be noted that one of the NBA’s best 3-point shooters, Korver, is mired in a horrific slump which has seen him convert just 35 of his last 100 attempts, including just 1 of his last 12 in the Washington series.  

Cleveland was the NBA’s biggest underachieving team for most of the first-half of the season  They lost starting center, Varejao, at the end of December (Achilles), lost offensive cohesion with Dion Waiters proving a poor fit, and LeBron suffering from ailing knees. But, a mid-January makeover, the trade of Waiters, and the return to health of James triggered a huge 2nd half of the season turnaround. Since acquiring interior force, Mozgov, 3-point shooter, JR Smith and do-everything wingman Shumpert, the Cavs have transformed a 19-20 SU start to a 42-11 record since late January.  They have even overcome the loss of big man, Love, to close out the Chicago Bulls in Round 2.

Must respect the 40-7 SU home mark of Atlanta!  But, these have been 2 different teams in the last 3 months. Even without Love, the Cleveland duo of James and Irving is better than any two players the Hawks can put on the floor and will prove to be a tough tandem to beat at crunch time; so take the Cavs with your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers at Bovada 

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Check out the NBA Picks we have selected for tonight's matchup

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