Cavs vs. Hawks Betting Line

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
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Cavs vs. Hawks Betting Line

Carrie Stroup here with your Cavs vs. Hawks betting line courtesy of

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (39-24) at ATLANTA HAWKS (48-12)                                               Line: Cleveland -2, Total: 203.5

Two of the NBA’s elite teams, the Cavaliers and Hawks, clash in Atlanta on Friday night.

The Cavaliers went into Toronto on Wednesday and came away with a 120-112 victory as 5-point road favorites. Cleveland has now won-and-covered in two straight games and six of its past eight as well. The offense has been scorching hot recently, averaging 115.0 PPG over its past two games.

Atlanta has won five straight games SU after a 104-96 victory as 8.5-point home favorite against the Rockets on Tuesday, however, they are just 2-2-1 ATS in those games. While Cleveland has been hot offensively, the Hawks have been playing some stellar defense of late. Atlanta has held its past five opponents to less than 97 points and will look to carry that momentum into this meeting with Cleveland.

These teams have met three times already this season and the Hawks are 2-1 both SU and ATS. Over the past three seasons, the Hawks are 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS when hosting the Cavs. Eight of those 10 games went Over the total as well. Cleveland is 32-17 ATS against Southeast division opponents over the past three seasons. Atlanta is 19-4 ATS after having won six or seven of its past eight games this season. SF Shawn Marion (Hip) is out for another week or so for the Cavaliers, who are already without C Anderson Varejao (Achilles) for the season. SG Thabo Sefolosha (Calf) is out indefinitely for Atlanta.

The Cavaliers have won two straight games and SF LeBron James (26.3 PPG, 7.3 APG, 5.7 RPG, 1.6 SPG) has been playing like a man possessed. Over the past four games, James is averaging 33.8 PPG, 7.0 APG, 7.0 RPG, 2.3 SPG and 1.3 BPG in 35.3 MPG. He had 14 assists in the win over the Raptors on Wednesday and is just making all of the right plays in order to win games for his team. He’ll need to play well against Atlanta on Friday and that shouldn’t be a problem as he’s averaging 26.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 4.5 APG in just 29.0 MPG versus the Hawks this season.

PG Kyrie Irving (21.7 PPG, 5.3 APG, 1.4 SPG) has not skipped a beat since returning from a shoulder injury. In two games since coming back, Irving is averaging 22.0 PPG, 6.5 APG and 1.0 SPG in 33.3 MPG. Irving can get into the paint at will and is an excellent finisher around the rim. He also is one of the league’s best shooters from behind the arc (40% 3PT), so he is a matchup nightmare whenever he is on the court. In three games against the Hawks this season, Irving is putting up 21.3 PPG and 6.7 APG to go along with 1.7 SPG on the defensive end. He’ll need to put pressure on Jeff Teague on both ends of the floor on Friday.

PF Kevin Love (17.0 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 2.3 APG) has seen his usage rate go way down since Irving returned. He’s attempted just 20 shots in the past two games and will need to see the ball more, as he’s been playing very well. In 34 minutes against the Raptors, Love had 22 points and 10 rebounds. His ability to stretch the floor could really make things tough on Atlanta and David Blatt will need to find a way to get him more involved.

C Timofey Mozgov ((.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.4 BPG) has been playing really well for the Cavs since they acquired him. He’s scored 10 points in each of the past three games and is averaging 1.7 BPG in those contests. His rebounding has been an issue though, as he hasn’t grabbed more than six in each of the past four contests. He must be a bigger factor on the glass against an undersized Atlanta frontcourt.

The Hawks have won five games in a row and continue to be one of the best teams in the NBA. Atlanta is averaging 102.6 PPG (8th in NBA) and allowing just 96.4 PPG (2nd in NBA), proving that they are extremely difficult to play on both ends of the floor.

PG Jeff Teague (16.8 PPG, 7.4 APG, 1.7 SPG) is going to be huge for Atlanta in this one. Teague had 25 points (7-for-12 FG, 2-for-4 3PT, 9-for-11 FT) in a win over the Rockets on Tuesday and must bring that same aggressiveness to this game on Friday. He’s averaging just 14.0 PPG and 7.0 APG in two games against the Cavaliers this year, but he will need to hold his own against Kyrie Irving. If he can attack the rim early on then he should be able to create space for his teammates at the very least.

PF Paul Millsap (16.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.7 SPG) has played very well against the Cavaliers this season. Millsap is averaging 18.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 3.7 APG in three games against Cleveland. He has also added 1.3 BPG and 1.3 SPG in those contests. He has the physicality to make Kevin Love uncomfortable and his ability to stretch the floor with solid outside shooting (35% 3PT) keeps his opponents on their heels at all times.

C Al Horford (15.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.3 BPG) has really struggled to rebound the ball against the Cavaliers this season. He’s averaging 16.0 PPG (67% FG) on very efficient shooting in two games against Cleveland this season, but he’s only grabbing 3.0 RPG in those contests. If he is not able to pull down more rebounds than the Cavaliers will likely be getting too many second chances on the offensive end.

SG Kyle Korver (12.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.6 APG) has been in a slump lately. He’s averaging just 9.6 PPG over the past five games and the Hawks need him to start knocking down some shots.

- Carrie Stroup, Senior Reporter

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