Free NBA Pick - Atlanta Hawks vs Toronto Raptors

DeMarre Carroll during a game

Jay Pryce

Saturday, December 3, 2016 5:32 PM GMT

The Hawks take on the Raptors at Air Canada Center Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET) minus their leading scorer Paul Millsap (hip). Join expert capper for a valuable NBA pick with the analysis here.
 

Atlanta Hawks (10-10 SU, 10-10 ATS)

The Hawks suffered one of its worst defeats in recent memory on Friday night, routed by the Pistons 121-85 in Detroit. It was the franchise’s worst beatdown since falling to the Bulls 97-58 in 2012. Atlanta has dropped eight of its last nine games after tying for the Eastern Conference lead on Nov. 16.

New center Dwight Howard scored just 2 points and yanked down paltry 6 boards in the defeat. He’s posting 13.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game this season. Power forward Paul Millsap leads the team with 16.1 points per game in 32.4 minutes. He missed last night’s game with a hip injury and is expected to sit out for this one. The Hawks are 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS as an underdog when Milsap sits out a game.

The Hawks have failed to hit their projected team total in each of its last 11 games. In their last five contests, they rank dead last in the league in efficiency, scoring 106.1 points per 100 possessions. The team has seen a player put up 30 points or more twice all season.

 

Toronto Raptors (13-6 SU, 13-6 ATS)

The Raptors played on the other end of the spectrum to the Hawks last night, romping the Lakers 113-80 at Air Canada Center. It was just the 10th time in franchise history beating a team by 33 points or more.

Toronto has covered the spread in 6 games straight by an average of 9.3 points per game. Seven times in franchise history it has covered 7 contests in a row, the last coming in 2013. The team is 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS at Air Canada Center in 2016. It has tipped off as favorites in 8 games, winning all but one and covering in six.

Toronto leads the NBA in offensive efficiency over its last 5 games, scoring a whopping 140 points per 100 possessions. Head coach Dwane Casey’s squad is also doing it at a turtle-like speed, clocking in with the slowest pace (83 possessions per 48 minutes) out of any team during this stretch.

Forward DeMarre Carroll is expected to see some minutes after a staggered start to the season following offseason knee surgery. He sat out last night’s win. Carroll averages 10.3 points, 0.9 assists, and 3.5 points per game. DeMar DeRozan leads the team with 28.3 points per contest, which ranks 4th in the NBA.

 

Atlanta Hawks vs Toronto Raptors 

Both of these teams thrive off turnovers. The Raptors lead the NBA with 20.1 points per game off takeaways, while the Hawks rank 4th with 18.3. As one would expect, each creates many turnovers on defense. The difference between the two is offensively. The Raptors can cope with pressure, yielding a second best 12.2 giveaways per game, while Atlanta ranks next to last with 17.3 freebies per tilt. The Hawks have played six games against teams protecting the ball for less than 13 turnovers per game entering a contest. It’s 2-4 SU, 1-5 ATS, losing to the number by 13.4 points per game. The team averages 91 points in this spot, unable to capitalize off free possessions. With Millsap out, the team is lost. Lay the points with the Raptors for your NBA predictions.

 Free NBA Pick: Raptors -9Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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