Don't Sleep On The Hawks As They Hang With The Raptors

Charles Stark

Friday, December 16, 2016 1:16 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 16, 2016 1:16 PM UTC

While the Atlanta Hawks have only won two out of their last 10 games the Toronto Raptors have been rolling along winning nine of their last 10. Today they meet in Toronto and Atlanta has been made a decent underdog, can the Hawks get back to their winning ways?

Atlanta Hawks

A couple of weeks ago Atlanta got thumped by Toronto yet oddsmakers have made them just a single digit underdog in this spot. There is a reason for optimism that Atlanta can hang around with Toronto tonight because at their core they are still a solid basketball team. Currently, Atlanta is averaging 101.6 points per game while allowing 103.4 which ranks them and about the middle of the league in both categories. Statistically, overall they match up well with Toronto though and this is still an extremely well-coached team with a good group of players that all know their roles. Atlanta is shooting 45.5% overall from the field but with the huge disparity between their two and three point shooting percentages. Right now the Hawks rank fourth in the league shooting 51.3% other two-point shots but just 32.6% from distance ranking them second to last in the league. On the other side of the ball they will have their hands full against a Toronto team that has been extremely good this year and although the Hawks have not played defense like they are capable of this is still an Atlanta team that can play competitive basketball with the best teams in the league.

Toronto Raptors

Toronto has completely changed their identity this year from a lockdown defensive juggernaut to a team that can flat out shoot the basketball. Currently, Toronto ranks first and second in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage and overall shooting percentage respectively. They also rank fourth in shooting efficiency and effective field goal percentage. This is a far cry from the team last year which relied solely on their defense. And therein lies why I like Atlanta to stay close with Toronto tonight. The Raptors have not been very efficient defensively allowing opponents to shoot 50.8% other two-point shots and 45.2% overall ranking them 26th and 17th in the NBA respectively. Toronto’s new style basketball has equaled more wins and they are playing tremendously over the last few weeks, that being said though with a little bit of lack on the defensive side I like backing Atlanta plus the points.

NBA Odds

Oddsmakers have Atlanta as a +7 underdog across the board. For my NBA pick, I will gladly take the points with a Hawks team that looks like they are coming out of their slump. Toronto wins but Atlanta hangs tough.

Free NBA Pick: Atlanta +7Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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