NBA Pick: Low Scoring to Continue in Game 3 of Hawks/Cavaliers Series

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, May 23, 2015 6:24 PM GMT

Will the Cavs be able to attain a 3-0 stranglehold in the series? Can Atlanta display the urgency needed on the road as NBA odds dog to make this a competitive series? We have those answers & more.

Eastern Conference Finals moves to Cleveland for Game 3
The Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday at 8:35 PM ET. According to the NBA betting odds at Wagerweb, Cleveland is an 8.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 190.5.  Sunday will be Game 3 of this Eastern Conference Finals series in which Cleveland holds a 2-0 lead.

 

Recap of First Two Game of the Series
Cleveland has seized control of the series by winning each of the first two games on the road. The Cavaliers won and covered both contests as a 2.0 point underdog in Game 1, and a 3.5 point underdog in Game 2. Each of those games easily stayed under the totals of 199.5 in the series opener and 193.0 on Friday.

 

Hawks Playoff Report
The Atlanta Hawks were averaging 86.7 field goal attempts per game in the first two rounds of the 2015 NBA Playoffs. The Hawks are a team that prefers a faster pace, and they’ve been stymied in that regard by Cleveland in the first two games. Atlanta had just 77 field goal attempts in Game 1 and 79 in Friday’s Game 2. The Hawks were a very good three-point shooting team during the regular season, evidenced by their 37.2% success rate in that regard. They’ve not only been well below that percentage (32.6%) in the playoffs, but were a dismal 10-for-49 (20.4%) during the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. On a positive note, they’ve held the opposition to 92.8 points per game, and 41.1% shooting from the field during their previous five playoff contests.

 

Cavaliers Postseason Notes
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been terrific defensively during these 2015 playoffs, and especially so during their previous five games. During that time they’ve allowed 85.6 points per game. The Cavaliers have dominated Atlanta on the boards in the first two games of this series with a cumulative 116-89 rebounding advantage. Cleveland has also converted on a stellar 39.3% of their three-point attempts during these Eastern Conference Finals. The only flaw they’ve displayed against the Hawks was their free throw shooting. The Cavaliers have gone a poor 29-for-46 (63%) in the first two games of the series.

 

Final Analysis
The Atlanta Hawks have gone under in their last four, and those games averaged a combined 173.4 points scored per contest. They’ve also averaged an unimpressive 86.5 points scored per outing during that four game stretch. On the bright side, Atlanta has held opponents to an average of 92.8 points per game and just 41.1% shooting from the field during their previous five contests.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have gone under the total in each of their previous three, and have allowed 88 points or less in four of the last five games. They’ve not only slowed the pace of the game down to their liking in the first two games of this series, but also limited the Hawks to only 7 offensive rebounds in each contest.

I like Game 3 to once again be a low scoring affair, and one of my NBA picks will be indicative of just that.

NBA Pick: Play on Atlanta and Cleveland to go Under the total of 190.5 at WagerWeb .