NBA Playoffs Betting: Hawks at Cavaliers

NBA Playoffs Betting: Hawks at Cavaliers

The Atlanta Hawks team-oriented no superstar system served them well during the NBA regular season and through the first two rounds of the 2015 Playoffs. However, not having a legit go-to option is hurting them in their quest to reach the Finals. Sure, Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap have each delivered huge efforts versus the Cavaliers, but neither has done so consistently. Meanwhile, LeBron James has been a one-man wrecking crew, averaging 32.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 10 assists in three games. If stopping the world’s greatest player isn’t in the cards, countering him with a Top 10 talent is the next best thing. Not being able to do either means coming up short of the ultimate goal. The Hawks have plenty of fight, but it will take a lot more than that to deny King James a fifth straight trip to the Finals. Here’s a preview of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.


Just like the Rockets on Monday night, the Hawks find themselves in the unenviable position of playing a win-or-go home game. And just like the performance Houston got from James Harden, Atlanta needs someone to deliver inside the pressure cooker. The aforementioned Jeff Teague is the leading candidate fresh off a 30-point effort in Game 3. They also need DeMarre Carroll to conjure some of the magic he cast in the Eastern Semifinals against Washington. Thus far, Carroll has been MIA on offense and utterly ineffective on defense when tasked to guard LeBron James. The latter can be forgiven, but the former is a problem that must be remedied. If not Carroll, then either Al Horford or Kent Bazemore need to be more aggressive on offense. Teague and Millsap aren’t good enough to carry the Hawks versus superior competition.

In the absence of Kyrie Irving, LeBron did what he always seems to do when the odds aren’t in his favor: thoroughly dominated at both ends of the floor to the tune of a triple-double. With Irving questionable to suit up Tuesday due to lingering knee issues, James will be called upon to stuff the stat sheet again two nights after logging 47 minutes in the overtime victory. The streaky J.R. Smith totaled 17 points and 10 rebounds in Game 3 and every point was needed. Matthew Dellavedova has steadily improved as the series has progressed. If Irving is a scratch, both Smith and Dellavedova have to convert shots, especially from three-point range. James can smell another Finals appearance, but even he can’t be expected to do all the heavy lifting every night. Putting away the Hawks now will be critical to gaining extra rest for their hobbled lineup.

Atlanta is 8-3 ATS in its last eleven trips to Cleveland. The Cavs are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. Look for the Hawks to fight tooth and nail to extend the series.

Bet Atlanta +8