The Atlanta Hawks and Utah Jazz have both picked up steam in their last six games, uniting for 11 wins and a combined 8-3-1 spread record.  Sunday night’s NBA slate has the pair of hot squads meeting, with Atlanta heading home for its third contest in three days.

Sportsbooks opened Atlanta as a two-point favorite, while first setting the total at 192.  Early NBA betting action on Utah and the UNDER dropped the numbers to 1.5 and 191, respectively. 

Hawks rally past Wizards

Atlanta trailed by as many as 16 points in Saturday’s 95-92 victory as a three-point road favorite against the Washington Wizards.  Hawks shooting guard Joe Johnson notched nine of his squad’s final 11 points, capping off a 27-14 run by Atlanta in the battle’s fourth quarter.

Joe JohnsonJohnson finished 16 points and three assists, hitting 6-of-12 from the field.  Atlanta’s Josh Smith piled in team-highs of 20 points and nine boards, while adding two of his team’s three blocks.

The contest’s combined 187 points dipped below the total of 191.5, bringing the UNDER to 5-2 in the Hawks’ last seven games.  Atlanta sparsely sank 14-of-21 free throws, while edging out the Wizards in rebounds, 41-39.

Jazz pull away at home

Utah picked up its sixth straight win in Saturday’s 121-102 triumph as a two-point home favorite against the Denver Nuggets.  The Jazz led by as many as 27 points, shooting a stellar 59.3 percent from the field.

Jazz center Al Jefferson notched a team-high 23 points, with six others from Utah’s squad reaching double figures.  Jefferson’s mates Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward united for 28 points and 16 assists, uniting to drain 4-of-7 buckets beyond the arc.

The lopsided affair’s combined 223 points soared above the total of 207.5, lifting the OVER to 7-3 in Utah’s last 10 games.  Jazz rookie Alec Burks led his bench’s scoring with 15 points, while adding two steals in 19 minutes of action.

Back the Hawks as short faves 

Sunday’s tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET), with SportSouth providing television coverage.  Atlanta will have one day of rest following the duel, while Utah heads to New Jersey as part of Monday’s league slate.

I am adding Atlanta to my NBA picks for the day’s card, laying the short number.  The Hawks have cashed at 10-3-1 ATS in their 14 games played with no rest, while early 'steam' dropping the point spread a 'hook' here adds even further value.

Atlanta’s defense has been solid at Philips Arena, with Larry Drew’s crew allowing a stingy 87.5 PPG in its last nine home games.  The span saw only one visiting foe break the 100-point barrier, with the Cleveland Cavaliers needing overtime in Wednesday’s 103-102 triumph for the Hawks to do so.

Hawks forward Marvin Williams has provided his squad some spark, hitting a combined 10-of-19 from the field in Atlanta’s last two games after missing five straight prior to that stretch with a hip injury.  The 25-year-old has drained three-point buckets at a 40.4 percent clip, helping to make the Hawks rank in the league’s top five teams beyond the arc (37.7 percent).

Johnson has also been surging from three-point land, draining 19-of-33 in the Hawks’ last six contests.  The six-time All-Star’s surging run to finish Saturday’s victory should give his shooting some momentum against Utah, who ranks a meager 29th in the league from downtown (30.8 percent).

Atlanta is 6-2 ATS in its last eight meetings with the Jazz, including last January’s 110-87 triumph for the Hawks as 5.5-point road dogs.  Johnson piled in 28 points on that occasion, connecting 5-of-7 from three-point land.

Utah has allowed a sizable 102.5 PPG away from home, while NBA odds makers have overvalued the Jazz in recent road spots.  Jefferson and Co. have gone 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a road dog of 4.5 points or less.

Look for the Hawks to let it all hang out with a day of rest looming, notching a sizable win en route to cashing tickets at a low premium.