NBA Picks: Profit From Cavaliers Fending Off Invading Hawks

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 6:46 PM GMT

Can Atlanta bounce back with a Win in Game 2 at the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night? Let’s look at the NBA odds to figure out the right pick for this match!

Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Odds Overview
The Eastern Conference Semifinals resume on Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland as LeBron James and the top-seeded and defending conference champion Cavaliers host the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of this Best-of-7 series.

Offshore sportsbooks currently have the host Cavaliers as 7-point favorites (at Heritage)—moving down from 7½ although The Greek in Jamaica is still hanging a 7½—here with the Total (Points) set at 199½ (Heritage). The Money Line (Winner) NBA odds see Cleveland priced at -340 (at BetOnline) with the Hawks lined at +285 on the takeback as the Road underdogs with the First Half odds seeing the Cavaliers as 4-point chalks (Sportsbetting.ag) with the First Half Total set at 96½ (Sportsbetting.ag). Cleveland won Game 1 on Monday night, 104-93, covering as 7½-point chalks (Under, 199½).

 

Atlanta Hawks
The 4th-seeded Atlanta Hawks (42-39-1 ATS Regular Season) used a 16-3 spurt to rally back from an 18-point deficit to make it a 75-70 game entering the 4th Quarter in Game 1 on Monday night and overall, Head Coach Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks (+900 to win Eastern Conference, Sportingbet) have to be happy with the resiliency they showed, although a Dry Spell in the L4 minutes prevented any upset, stealing of the Homecourt Advantage and potential covering of the Point Spread for Hawks backers. In the Loss, Atlanta was led in scoring by Reserve Dennis Schroder who had a Playoff career-high 27 points, Paul Millsap (17 points), Kent Bazemore (16 points) and Al Horford (10 points).

PG Jeff Teague had a disappointing game for the visitors, scoring just 8 points on 2-for-9 shooting, as did backcourt mate SG Kyle Korver who had just 3 points and took 1 just Shot in 36:45 of Playing Time. That is a huge problem for the Hawks and both must find ways to score immediately to take any unnecessary Pressure off the Atlanta Frontcourt which will have its hands full with Thompson, Love and James. The Hawks (+8000 to win NBA Championship, at Bet365) shot just 33-for-87 (37.9%) from the Field for the game and were just 11-for-34 from 3-point range (32.4%), so this Hawks team with so many guys who can score had trouble putting the ball in the basket on Monday. Tiago Splitter (Hip) has been Out for the Season for some time for Atlanta and is their only Injury concern.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers (37-42-3 ATS, 20-21-1 ATS Home in Regular Season) and Head Coach Tyronn Lue have almost perfected the game pattern of not being able to put opponents away despite having significant double-digit leads, having the better players on the Court, but usually finding a way to surge late when necessary to get Wins after letting Opponents back in games. And that has become an all-too-common game pattern in the NBA, but it has worked for Cleveland and when you have LeBron James on your side, getting to and winning the Eastern Conference Finals (-333 to win Eastern Conference, at PaddyPower) and getting to the NBA Finals has become an expectation for the last decade.

On Monday, Cleveland improved to 5-0 SU in the Postseason with that Game 1 Win at Home over the Hawks as all of the Cavaliers Starting 5 performed extremely well. Leading the way, of course, was SF LeBron James (25 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds) while PG Kyrie Irving (21 points), PF Kevin Love (17 points, 11 rebounds), SG JR Smith (12 points, 5 rebounds) and C Tristan Thompson (8 points, 14 rebounds) all had the perfect games they needed to have in the opener. The Cleveland bench added 21 points with Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson bot scoring 8 points as the Cavaliers (+350 to win NBA Championship, BetVictor) led the entire way after jumping out to a 2-0 lead on an Irving layup 15 seconds into the game.

 

Season Series Results, Last 10 Meetings, Trends, Streaks, Thoughts and Pick
Cleveland now has 4 SU and 4 ATS Wins in 4 games against the Hawks in the Regular Season (3-0) and NBA Playoffs (1-0) this season—and has W5 ATS in a row overall vs. Atlanta—and in each game the Cavaliers scored over 100 points (109, 110 (OT), 109, 104) although it must be noted three of the four games have been played in Cleveland, as will this one. So Trend-wise from a Side perspective, the Cavaliers are the play here as the Hawks are 1-7 ATS their L8 on the Road, and, psychologically, Cleveland won’t want to head to Atlanta for Game 3 (Friday) with the series tied 1-1 and without that precious Homecourt Advantage it worked so hard from October until April to obtain.

The Over is 7-2 ATS the L9 Cavaliers games played on a Wednesday but the Under is 13-6 the L19 Hawks games played on Wednesdays. And the Over is 8-3 ATS the L11 Cleveland games again Southeast Division opponents, but more importantly, 15-7 ATS the L22 in this series, despite Monday’s Game 1 going Under by 2½ points with the Cavaliers dribbling out the last possession which was meaningless to them. This is exactly why betting the NBA can be so frustrating and why those who chose not to canoe in these often Rough Waters may be the wisest of the Wise in Sports Gambling. So many times you can be right, yet be wrong when betting on the NBA and so many times it just comes down to stupidity in the L2 minutes and fouling and Luck. And having an advantage in Sports Gambling usually means trying to rid Luck and mass Randomness from the situation and there’s more of that—back-and-forth of ATS and/or Total Covering/Non-Covering—in the end of NBA games than in the entire duration of most other sporting events.

The Site, Situation, Trends and Momentum all point to taking the Cavaliers (40-44-3 ATS) here in Game 2 and laying the semi-modest lumber now that it’s at 7 in most places. But again, this is the NBA and the Hawks (45-43-1 ATS) will probably get much better games from their Starting Guards (Teague, Korver), so buyer beware. Using the Cavaliers in the Moneyline (-340, BetOnline) as a Parlay element (with the Spurs -1?, MGM Mirage) is advised as is keeping the amount of the Bet minimal because of the nature of this ping-pongy sport. The series heads to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday May 6 (ESPN, 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT) and Game 4 on Sunday, May 8 (ABC, 3:30 p.m. EDT/12:30 p.m. PDT).

If necessary, a Game 5 will back at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday, May 10 (TNT), with a potential Game 6 scheduled in Atlanta on Thursday, May 12 (ESPN) and what would be a dramatic Game 7 is scheduled to be held at The Q in Cleveland on Sunday, May 15. Don’t count on that one. My final score prediction for this NBA pick is Cavaliers 102 Hawks 89. If you're not convinced, take a look at this capper's pick on Atlanta instead.

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Free NBA Pick: Cavaliers -7.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage