Atlanta Hawks vs Cleveland Cavaliers betting tips and predictions for Friday’s NBA game at State Farm Arena. In their first game since firing their head coach, the Atlanta Hawks host the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2nd of 3 meetings this season. Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips.
Many people were caught by surprise as the news out of Atlanta rolled out. The Hawks fired head coach Nate McMillan in his 3rd season with the team, after he lead them to just the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference this season. There are multiple candidates rumored to be interested in the position, with former Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder being the most prominent name out there.
Before they hire anyone though, the Hawks have to play the Cavaliers tonight and it promises to be a tricky match-up as they’ve lost already once to them this season 114-102 back in late November. That game was played on the road, it’s been a different story when these two teams meet in Atlanta, the Hawks are 4-1 SU over the last 5 meetings there.
Unlike their opponent, the Cavs have already played a game since the All-Star break. They fell at home to the Denver Nuggets last night 115-109, wasting a 31-point game by Evan Mobley. Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland each went for 22 in a losing effort, as a team the Cavs were let down by their shooting as they went just 6-for-26 from three-point land.
They’ll have to do much better if they want to get a result at Atlanta tonight, the Hawks are one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league this season. Playing on the road has been the one major flaw of this Cavs team this season, they are only 13-17 SU in 30 games played and 13-16-1 ATS. Ricky Rubio missed last night’s game, but there is a chance he might return to the line-up to boost the back court a bit.
The Hawks will be in scramble mode here as they now have an interim head coach. It’ll be interesting to see how they respond, teams generally respond well to a change in the coaching hierarchy, so let’s give Atlanta the benefit of the doubt and back them to beat this tough Cavs team.
Atlanta Hawks vs Cleveland Cavaliers Predictions & Odds
The Cavs are the 2nd slowest team in the NBA this season, only behind the Dallas Mavericks, so we’re pretty much used to their games being lower scoring by now. They average just 97.7 possessions per game, and they also have the best defense in terms of efficiency allowing just 107.1 points per 100 possessions. Slowing down the game and playing tough defense has been their strategy against Eastern Conference teams for a while now, their last 7 of 8 games have all gone under the total.
Against the Hawks we’ve seen this bet land 7 times in the last 10 meetings, with just 216.1 points per game scored during that stretch. Atlanta has also seen a reduction in scoring lately in their games with 4 of their last 5 cashing on the under. Under McMillan this team didn’t play much defense at all and that’s one of the reasons he got fired. I’m expecting them to show up on that end tonight, so whoever comes out on top will do it on the defensive end. Let’s go with the under here.