Ross Benjamin provides a betting preview for Saturday’s East Conference playoff game between Washington and Atlanta. Ross has some intriguing statistical facts pertaining to the total in this contest and concludes the article with one of his free NBA picks.
Washington won the first 2 games at home in this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, and now heads to Atlanta for Game 3 with a comfortable 2-0 lead. The opening tip in Atlanta on Saturday is slated for 5:35 PM ET. Current (4/21) NBA betting odds show Atlanta as either a 2.5 or 3.0-point favorite.
Season Head to Head Series
Counting the first 2 games of this playoff series, these Southeast Division rivals have played each other 6 times this season. Washington has gone 5-1 during those meetings, and that includes 5 straight victories over Atlanta. These teams have stayed under the total in 4 of their last 5 encounters.
Hawks Recent Low Scoring Affairs as Home Favorites
Atlanta has seen 11 of their last 12 games go under the total when they closed as a home favorite. As a matter of fact, they’ve stayed under during its last 5 in that precise role, and there was just a combined 193.6 points scored per game. Atlanta has also gone under the total in 5 straight home games when facing fellow Southeast Division teams.
First Round Game 3 History for Total
Since the 1996 NBA Playoffs, all teams playing in Game 3 of a first-round series with a total of 200.0 or more, resulted in those contests going 52-24 (68.4%) under. The average total in those 76 games was 207.2, and there was 202.4 points scored per contest.
NBA Betting Angle on Total
These teams last played on Wednesday in Washington, and the Wizards came away with a 109-101 win. Washington has now allowed 100 points or more in their last 8 games. The Wizards are averaging a robust 109.2 points per game this season. At the time of this writing, NBA betting odds has a total of 209.0 or 209.5 on Game 3 of this series.
Any road underdog (Washington) playing with a total of 200.0 to 209.5, playing on 1 or more days of rest, averaging 101.0 or more points scored per game, and they allowed 100 points or more in each of their previous 4 outings, resulted in those games going 57-25 (69.5%) under the total during the past 5 seasons.Final Take and Prediction
Washington is a dynamic offensive team that’s scored 102 points or more in 8 straight and 14 of its last 15 games. That makes it awfully scary to pull the trigger on an under bet in games involving the Wizards. Nevertheless, relative to this present total, I’m leaning toward this game being a lower scoring contest, and one of my Saturday NBA picks will reflect that prediction.