Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks NBA Play-In Tournament Betting Preview & Picks

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks NBA Play-In Tournament Betting Preview & Picks

Barry Devoe
2 years ago
3 min read
Cavs forward Lauri Markkanen drives for a layup against the Atlanta Hawks

The NBA Playoffs are about to begin, but first, we have a play-in tournament to get through to determine the final playoff spots.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping to clinch their first playoff appearance since 2018, as their young core has come along much quicker than expected. The Atlanta Hawks find themselves competing for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference a season after making it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Betting Odds & Lines

betJACK has the point spread of this game at Hawks -2.5. We also have the total over/under at 223.5.

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Cavs Outlook

The Cleveland Cavaliers struggled mightily in the first quarter in their loss against the Brooklyn Nets, as they allowed 40 points while scoring just 20 of their own. However, they showed no quit, as they outscored the Nets in every other quarter, but not enough for them to overcome such a big early deficit.

Darius Garland shined in the biggest game of his early career, going off for 34 points on 13-of-24 shooting. Evan Mobley also provided 19 points and seven rebounds.

Jarrett Allen is currently 50-50 to return for this game, as he has been nursing a broken middle finger in his left hand. The good news is that that isn’t his shooting hand.

What we saw on full display in that game is the grit the Cavs play with night in and night out. Being down 20 to a team featuring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving can be very demoralizing, but instead of accepting defeat, Garland continued to look for his own shots while Mobley took advantage of some of the holes in the Nets’ defense.

With Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen stretching the floor, they have two bigs that can draw opposing bigs out to the 3-point line, thus opening up driving lanes for Garland, Mobley, and Caris LeVert. If defenses choose to ignore Love and Markkanen, then they can make them pay with a kick out pass.

Hawks Outlook

The Hawks absolutely destroyed the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, as they got a well balanced scoring effort from all of their starters and a couple of key reserves.

Trae Young led the way with 24 points and 11 assists, though he struggled a bit shooting the ball, going just 8-of-24 from the field. However, he made up for that by getting to the free-throw line and serving as a primary playmaker for his teammates.

Clint Capela was active inside the paint, as he hauled in 17 rebounds and blocked three shots to go along with 15 points. 

The Pick

This is going to be such a close matchup, with two of the best point guards in the game going at it with several great weapons as their teammates.

However, the Hawks have the continuity of getting to the Eastern Conference Finals just last season, so expect them to get it done despite being the road team.

Click here to read our betting preview for Clippers vs. Pelicans NBA Play-In Game.

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