The Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Atlanta Hawks in the first game since the Hawks fired their coach. The Cavaliers are coming off a loss to the 76ers before the break, while the Hawks are coming off a blowout loss to the Knicks before the break. This should be an interesting matchup for the Eastern Conference standings. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction
The pick: Atlanta Hawks -2
The Atlanta Hawks have been one of the biggest disappointments in the entire NBA this season. It eventually lead to Nate McMillan getting fired and the organization setting the team up to make a run to get into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
Trae Young is still playing like one of the best point guards in the NBA though, despite their season. He leads the Hawks in scoring and assists per game for the season. Dejounte Murray has been a very good player for the Hawks since being traded from the Spurs too. He’s been one of Atlanta’s best defender and leads the team in steals per game for the season. De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic have also been very solid for the Hawks on the wing and have been good when needed.
As a team, the Hawks excel more on offense than on defense. They are top-10 in points scored which says a lot about what they’ve been able to do this year.
On the other side, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been great this year, and have really broken through with a younger, but talented team.
It starts with how well Donovan Mitchell has been playing this year. He was traded and has been huge for Cleveland. He leads the team in scoring and steals per game for the season. Darius Garland has also been a solid point guard this year and is second in scoring and leads the team in assist per game for the season. They have one of the better front courts in the league with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen roaming the paint for blocks and alley-oops.
As a team, the Cavaliers are very good on both offense and defense this season. They are top five in field goal percentage at 48.9% and are top five in point differential at +5.6. They are also first in points allowed at 106 points per game for the season.
The Cavaliers are one of the best teams in the NBA this year, but situationally the Hawks are the better play. They’re at home against a good team and will be playing inspired after seeing their head coach got fired. Expect a close game, but then for the Hawks to pull away and cover.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Odds
The Atlanta Hawks are 2-point home favorites against the Cleveland Cavaliers and are at -130. There’s no over/under listed just yet. The Hawks being favored actually makes sense because they’re at home and might be playing inspired after their head coach got fired. The over/under should be high because Atlanta is very good on offense, but Cleveland is very good on defense, so something will have to give.
Cavaliers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
Hawks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
Can Darius Garland matchup with Trae Young? Can Dejounte Murray matchup with Donovan Mitchell?
Trae Young vs. Darius Garland
Trae Young has been great this year. He averages 27 points, 10 assists, and 3 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Darius Garland most of the game, who averages 22 points, 8 assists, and 3 rebounds per game for the season. This is a big matchup because both of these players make their team go, especially on offense. This is a big matchup because of how much offense Trae Young especially accounts for.
Donovan Mitchell vs. Dejounte Murray
Donovan Mitchell has been incredible for Cleveland this year. He averages 27 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Dejounte Murray, who averages 21 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds per game for the season. This is a big matchup because of how good Mitchell has been this year. Murray is a very good defender, so it will be interesting to see how he does against a matchup against a player as good as Micthell.
Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup
Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineups
Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries: PG Ricky Rubio (Knee) O
Atlanta Hawks Injuries: PF John Collins (Concussion) O