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Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NBA Playoff Betting Odds Atlanta Hawks vs Cleveland Cavaliers Free Pick

Sunday night NBA Playoff  and we will see the Atlanta Hawks take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 3 of their best-of-seven series from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Free Pick to follow. The game has a start time of 8:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Current Vegas betting odds have Cleveland listed as  point favorites, while the total is set at. 

Analysis: The Atlanta Hawks were the top seed in the East this year, but that was the regular season and now they find themselves in a deep 0-2 hole after losing both their home games to start the series. The Hawks have gone 28-19 on the road this year and they split their two games played in Cleveland during the regular season. Atlanta has gone 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points, but just 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 vs. the Eastern Conference. The Hawks scored 101.6 ppg on 45.5% shooting overall and 37.3% shooting from long range on the road this year. Defensively they allowed 99.2 ppg on 43.8% shooting overall and 35.2% shooting from long range away from home this year.  

The Cavaliers came into the playoffs as the number 2 seed in the East, but still there always was a feeling that this was the team to beat and after taking the first two games in Atlanta they are showing why many thought they were the team to beat in the East. Many also believe that they are the only team that would have a shot at knocking off Golden state. Cleveland is 35-11 at home home this year. Cleveland has gone 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days, but just 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games playing on 1 days rest. The Cavaliers have been a good offensive team at home this year, scoring 103.4 ppg on 46.7% shooting overall and 38.4% shooting from long range. Defensively the Cavaliers have been solid at home, where they have allowed just 96.0 ppg on 46.2% shooting overall and 35.0% shooting from long range.  

Pick: I will go with the under here. The Cavaliers have locked it down defensively and that means they haven't had to try to win these games with their offense. The Cavs have really slowed the pace and not let the Hawks get up and down the court with their offense. The Cavs have allowed just 96 ppg at home this year and just 91.4 ppg in the playoffs. The Hawks defense has not been that bad as they have allowed just 90.8 ppg in their last 4 games and just 93.8 ppg in all non-OT playoff games this year. The under is 9-2 in the Cavs last 11 vs a winning team and 68-26-2 in their last 96 games played on Sunday. This one should stay in the lower 180s. 



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Movie
The Hawks Can Hang with the Cavaliers to Game 7--Buy/Sell?
Pro handicappers Steve Fezzik and Teddy Covers debate whether or not the Atlanta Hawks can contend with the Cleveland Cavaliers to make the 2015 NBA Eastern Conference finals a seven-game series. Fezzik thinks the Cavs will win in six, pointing out that neither he nor Teddy thought the Hawks would even advance to the finals in the first place. As Fezzik says, were it not for a lucky Paul Pierce three-pointer and John Wall's broken hand, they would be talking about a better team, the Washington Wizards, not the Hawks. Teddy likes the Hawks against the spread though, pointing out they are able to win on the road, even though Fezzik claims the refs will be against them. With one road win and likely two home victories, Teddy thinks a Game 7 could easily happen, while Fezzik thinks the Hawks are a pro basketball longshot.