The Miami Heat must wait for Friday’s Atlanta versus Cleveland game to produce an 8-seed. But although the 1-seed Heat must wait a day to find out which team they will face on Sunday, we can still handicap the game. Will the Heat, which should go off the favorite versus either Cleveland or Atlanta, cover the spread in Game 1? Check out an NBA Playoffs Betting analysis of the Hawks, Cavaliers, and Heat and a prediction no matter which team ends up playing Miami at FTX Arena.
NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Game 1 – Hawks or Cavaliers at Miami
NBA Playoffs Betting Info: Toronto Raptors vs Philadelphia 76rs
- When: Sunday, April 17 at 1:00 pm ET
- Where: FTX Arena, Miami, FL
- TV/Streaming: TNT
- Odds: TBD
Why the Atlanta Hawks can beat the Miami Heat
Trae Young and Clint Capela have developed an excellent rapport. Young averages 28.4 points and 9.7 assists per. Capela averages 11.1 points and close to 12 boards each game.
When Young and Capela are playing their best, few teams can hang with the Hawks. Not only that, but Atlanta had a win over Miami this season.
Why the Cleveland Cavaliers can beat the Miami Heat
Cleveland ranks fifth in points allowed per game. Opponents average just 105.7 per against the Cavaliers.
Also, Darius Garland has become one of the top scoring point guards in the NBA. Garland averages close to 22 points per while grabbing 3.3 rebounds each game and dishing 8.6 assists.
Why the Miami Heat will win Game 1 versus the Hawks or the Cavs
Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry had plenty of chances to lose down the stretch and yield the 1-seed. But Miami didn’t.
The Heat held off the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers to grab the top seed. Miami marched to the top of the East early in the season. Then, they never gave up their lead, which proves they’re the best team in the conference.
Miami Heat Offensive Averages
Miami Heat Defensive Averages
Miami Heat versus Atlanta or Cleveland Final Betting Analysis
If Butler and his crew face Cleveland, expect Miami to win via a blowout. The Cavaliers aren’t good enough to hang with the Heat.
If the Heat must play the Hawks, it will be tougher to cover the spread, but Miami beat the Hawks in 3-of-4. Not only did Miami win 3-of-4, but the Heat covered in 3-of-4.
One thing that could throw a wrench into the plans is Bam Adebayo is out due to an illness. Adebayo scored 24 points in the win against the Hawks on April 8.
Bam shouldn’t make it back for this game, which means the Heat must find 20 points if they end up facing Trae Young and the Hawks. Miami can do it, but it won’t be easy.
More importantly, if Miami faces the Hawks, they’ll end up facing one of the hottest squads in the NBA. The ATL went 7-3 ATS in their final 10 regular season games.
Earlier this week, Atlanta blasted Charlotte 132-103. Young, Capela, and the rest of the Hawks are playing great.
Give the ATL the nod to cover if they end up stepping into FTX Arena. If Game 1 is a battle between Cleveland anhd Miami, even without Adebayo, South Beach should win and cover.
NBA Playoff Pick: Heat covers against Cavs / Hawks cover versus Heat