Short Spread Makes Home Fav Atlanta Our Winning NBA Pick vs. Cavaliers

Swinging Johnson

Friday, April 1, 2016 1:52 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 1, 2016 1:52 PM GMT

Eastern Conf powers collide tonight when the Cavaliers invade Atlanta to take on Hawk. Let’s review the NBA odds and cash a ticket.

Cleveland Cavaliers (53-22 SU, 34-40-2 ATS)
The Cavaliers have seen their fair share of off-court drama this season with LeBron causing controversy in the Twitter world while also making headlines by declaring his desire for a super team with his friends Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. While that could happen some time in the future, for the here and now LeBron will have to tough it out in his native Cleveland. Certainly there are worse things than toughing it out on a championship contender that currently leads the East and is poised to control home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

As the season winds down only the Toronto Raptors have a shot at catching the Cavs, trailing by 2 ½ games with eight remaining on their schedule. Cleveland has been enigmatic at times, which is illustrated by their 11-5 straight up run in March. Over the course of those 16 games the Cavaliers have wins and ATS covers over the gritty Boston Celtics and the talented LA Clippers. Yet they have had head-scratching lapses with losses to a vastly undermanned Grizzlies squad and then a stunning defeat at the hands of the woeful Brooklyn Nets as 9 ½ point road favorites. Those who have backed Cleveland in their NBA picks understand their team may win a ton of games but covering the NBA odds is a different story entirely as they are just 34-40-2 ATS this season.

 

Atlanta Hawks (45-31 SU, 40-35-1 ATS)
The Hawks have a tenuous hold on the third spot in the Eastern Conference standings with the Heat, Hornets and Celtics all nipping at their heels. The team did a nice job of stringing together four consecutive wins until their last performance when they suffered a 105-97 loss to the second-seeded Raptors in Toronto on Wednesday night. Yet it should be noted that Atlanta has covered the number in seven of their last 10 contests.

Though catching the Raptors for the second spot in the East is almost mathematically impossible at this stage, the loss was painful due to the three teams jockeying behind them as they near the wire. Perhaps the only silver lining in the loss was their play in the final quarter, trailing by 22, as they outscored their hosts 30-16 to draw within eight when the buzzer sounded. Little consolation to a team that was vastly outplayed throughout the rest of the game but something to hang their collective hats on as they take on the Beast of the East tonight.

 

Betting Analysis
This is the second of three meetings between these clubs with the first resulting in a 109-97 Cavaliers’ win as 5 ½ point home chalk back in November. But this time we have an Atlanta team that has been on point, winning nine of their last 11 and covering in seven of those games, playing at home. The Cavaliers played just last night and got their revenge on Brooklyn with a 20-point win. However, they are now flying into hostile territory against a team that matches up well with them and is more than adept at holding teams down defensively with the 6th ranked points allowed per game (99.0).

Here are some stats to consider:

Cleveland is 2-5 ATS in their last seven vs. the Southeast Division.

Cleveland is 2-7 ATS in their last nine games.

Cleveland is 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. Eastern Conference teams.

Atlanta is 5-1 ATS in their last six vs. the Central Division.

Atlanta is 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games.

Atlanta is 35-16 ATS in their last 51 Friday contests.

The bottom line is that the Cavaliers played last night and are susceptible to hiccups while the Hawks play a team game as evidenced by their 25.7 assists per game which rank 2nd in the NBA. Atlanta needs this even more than the Cavs do and for that, and all the aforementioned reasons, we will back the Hawks at home tonight.

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Free NBA Pick: Atlanta -1 ½
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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