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Game 1: Hawks vs. Cavs Trends + Odds

NBA: BETTORS NOT CONCERNED BY LAYOFF

Bettors aren’t buying that a long layoff will affect the Cleveland Cavaliers when they hit the court for Game 1 of their second round series against the Atlanta Hawks tonight.

Early Sportsbook.com trends show 90% of the action for tonight’s game is on the 11 ½-point favorite, Cavs with 76% of bettors liking the Over 179 points.

It’s been nine days since Cleveland dispatched the Detroit Pistons, ending their series in a quick four-game sweep. There’s no denying that long layoffs can have a negative effect on teams as they enter first game of a new series but bettors don’t seem worried.

Maybe they should be concerned however. Against the spread, Cleveland didn’t have much success when they played the Hawks this season. Atlanta covered the last three meetings between the two teams; twice as four-point underdogs and another time as an eight-point underdog.

Obviously bettors are driven by the fact that Cleveland has won nine of their last 10 games and they’ve profited from a 9-1 ATS record during those games. However, they are just 9-10 ATS at home when playing as a double-digit favorite.

“Cleveland is on a roll and it’s widely accepted that this is LeBron’s time to win a Championship,” said Sportsbook.com spokesman, Dave Staley. “Bettors are hopping on the train and so far they’ve been rewarded.”

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Atlanta hopes to catch Cleveland taking a catnap tonight. It’s unlikely that LeBron will be sleeping, but the timing of his shots or the crispness of passes could be off, giving the Hawks a chance for easier than expected baskets.

The layoff may also affect the marksmanship of sharp shooters like Delonte West, Mo Williams, Daniel Gibson and Wally Szczerbiak.

Atlanta does a good job handling the ball with Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson in the backcourt and they are 10-2 ATS after a game committing eight or less turnovers this season. Cleveland is 28-19 ATS against teams that commit 14 or less turnovers like Atlanta, but bettors should be aware that the average margin of victory is 7.3 points per game, well the below 11 ½ points that the Cavs are giving.

Cleveland is pretty much everything Miami wasn’t. They have an even better superstar player in James, plenty of veteran players who know the playoff drill and have a hunger and desire to win a NBA Championship.

The Cavaliers take great pride in 41-2 record in Quicken Loans Arena, in which they covered the spread 29 times.

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