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*8* Atlanta Hawks +8

*8* Atlanta Hawks +8

Atlanta vs. Cleveland, 05/02/2016 19:00 EDT, Score: 93 - 104

Point Spread: +8/-115 Atlanta

Sportsbook: Bovada

Result: Loss

Rickenbach NBA *8* Atlanta Hawks +8 @ Cleveland @ 7:05 ET - The Cavaliers demolished the Hawks in last year's post-season and that is what is still fresh in everyone's minds. The key to things being different this spring is the Hawks stellar defense as they have been a top defensive team that came on very strong at the end of the season as well. The key to things being particularly different in Game One of this second round series is that the Cavaliers are off of a long layoff. The Cavs swept Detroit in round one and so LeBron James and Company have had a full week off heading into this Monday game. No matter how much you practice or simulate games there is no such thing that compares to the actual game and Cleveland, as a result, is very likely to have some rust here in Game One. Rust won't be an issue for the Hawks as they wrapped up their series with the Celtics on Thursday. Atlanta got a big road win at Boston to wrap up that series and having 3 days off coming into this series is perfect for the Hawks. It's enough time to rest but it's not so much time off that it becomes an issue of losing your rhythm. The latter of which is absolutely what I expect to see happen for Cleveland here in Game One. The Hawks fantastic defense has held 9 of their last 15 opponents under 39.9% from the field! This is quite a contrast in comparison with Cleveland who has allowed 8 consecutive opponents to hit at least 43.5% from the field. Look for the Hawks to be confident on the road here after the big road win at Boston to finish up that series. Atlanta is 51-29 ATS the past three seasons when they are off of a win by a margin of 10 points or more. As for the Cavaliers, they are 9-19 ATS this season when they enter a game on a winning streak of 3 games or more. Cleveland may manage to get the home win here but if they do, it is likely to be by a very slim margin as the Hawks have the scheduling edge here and want to prove they are not the same team that the Cavaliers so easily dispatched of last season. *8* ATLANTA

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