The Atlanta Hawks couldn’t handle the Cleveland Cavaliers in last year’s playoffs, getting swept in the Eastern Conference Finals. We could see history repeat itself as the Cavs fairly easily took Game 1 and look for a 2-0 lead on Wednesday night in the East semifinals. Cleveland is a solid favorite on the online sportsbook odds.
An Analysis on How To Bet Atlanta at Cleveland Game 2 NBA Playoffs Lines & Game Info
When: Wednesday, May 4, 8 PM ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
NBA Odds: Cavs -7.5 (198.5)
Hawks at Cavaliers Historic Betting Trends
Cleveland improved to 5-0 in these playoffs with a 104-93 home win over Atlanta on Monday. LeBron James scored 25 points, and Kyrie Irving added 21. James converted a critical 3-point play with 2:09 left for the Cavs, who blew an 18-point lead in the second half and fell behind with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter before making several clutch plays down the stretch. The Cavs made nine first-half 3-pointers and finished with 15. The Hawks needed to keep J.R. Smith from getting hot but the Cavs guard burned them by making 4 of 7 of his long-range attempts.
Tristan Thompson had a game-high 14 rebounds in 41 minutes, including seven on the offensive glass. He was particularly effective against Atlanta in last year’s conference finals — averaging 11.8 points, 11 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in the series while racking up a plus-46 over the four games.
The Cavs are now 9-0 all-time vs. Atlanta in the playoffs. The only longer active playoff winning streak in the NBA by one team against a single opponent is Cleveland’s 12-game run over the Pistons. That’s the team Cleveland swept in Round 1. In four games against the Hawks in last year’s playoffs, LeBron averaged 30.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, 9.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 38.3 minutes. No other player in NBA history has ever averaged at least 30.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists in a playoff series.
Dennis Schroder scored a playoff career-high 27 in Game 1 and rallied the Hawks before they crumbled in the closing minutes. Paul Millsap had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Kent Bazemore added 16 points for Atlanta, which got just eight points from Jeff Teague.
With 4:28 left, Al Horford, who has struggled with his shot in four of his past five postseason games, scored on a driving hook shot to give Atlanta an 88-87 lead. But then James hit Smith for a 3-pointer. On the next possession, James found Kevin Love, who was fouled by Bazemore on a corner 3-point attempt. Love made two of the three foul shots. The Hawks made matters worse by missing six straight shots and turning the ball over three times from the point that they led 88-87.
On the bright side for Atlanta, the Hawks aren’t likely to shoot much worse than 37.9 percent again, and Millsap, Horford, Teague and Kyle Korver aren’t apt to miss 32 of 42 shots again. The Cavaliers clamped down on Korver, who managed just one shot in 37 minutes of playing time. It was a missed 3-pointer. He finished with three points after making all his free throws while being fouled on another long-range attempt.
But Schroder isn’t going to score a point a minute in every game, either. He was 10 of 20 from the field, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range. He had five turnovers, including two in the fourth quarter.
Expert Betting Prediction
Cavs take Game 2 and this series in five games as things stand.