Free NBA Picks: Back Tempting 'Over' Odds As Hawks Visit Bucks

Charles Stark

Friday, January 15, 2016 1:40 PM GMT

After only scoring 84 points against the Charlotte Hornets I am looking for a big bounce back game offensively from the Atlanta Hawks, today against the Bucks. Check our NBA pick inside.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2883057, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

NBA Pick: Over 208.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

NBA odds makers have set this game at 208.5 for the total and the Hawks favorite by 4. That seems like a pretty high total but for my selection today I like for both these teams to not only push the tempo but to knock down a high percentage of shots. I simply don't see this game going under 210.

 

Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta is averaging 102.5 points per game while shooting 46% from the field, and allowing 100.8 points per game on 44.8% shooting from the field. Atlanta is about 50% on the year on their over/under totals going 21-18 overall and 10-9 on the road. They were due for a little bit of a regression after scoring 126 and 120 points consecutively, only to crash with their second lowest offensive total of the year in Charlotte, with their lowest of course being against San Antonio. This puts them in a good bounce back spot in my opinion and offensively they are one of the better percentagewise teams in the NBA ranking fifth in both shooting efficiency and effective field-goal percentage. They don't shoot the three quite as well percentagewise compared to last year at just 34.3%, nevertheless they're putting up plenty behind the arc averaging 26.7 shots per game from distance. They still move the ball very well averaging 25.3 assists per game which ranks third in the league, and I expect them to get some good looks tonight against a subpar Milwaukee defense. Defensively Atlanta is nowhere near as good as they were last season ranking in the middle of the league in most offensive categories. When I say middle of the league, I mean really middle of the league they rank 17th in opponent effective field-goal percentage, opponent shooting efficiency, and opponent shooting percentage. They rank 16th in opponent field goals made per game, and 16th in opponent three-pointers made per game. This season they truly have been the definition of mediocre on this side of the ball.

 

Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee is averaging 97.9 points per game while shooting 45.9% from the field, and allowing 103.6 points per game on 45.7% shooting from the field. Against the spread their numbers are not too far off from Atlanta's as they have gone 23-18 on their over/under totals this season and 11-7 at home. Offensively they have been decent in some categories and poor in others. The Bucks rank eighth in the league in shooting percentage from the field and 12th from beyond the arc at 35.5% per game. However, they rank 14th and 27th in field goals made and three-pointers made per game respectively. Where they do excel is in the paint where the average 48.7 points per game which ranks first in the NBA. Defensively they have been one of the worst teams in the East, and a shadow of how well they played on this side of the ball last season. Last year they ranked in the top 10 in many defensive categories, but this year they rank towards the bottom of the league. For example, last season the allowed 97.6 points per game which ranks ninth in the NBA, right now they rank 23rd. They have been pretty good at controlling tempo but they rank in the bottom part of the league in opponent three point shooting percentage, opponent efficiency, and opponent assist per game.

This looks to set up a really high-scoring affair tonight with Atlanta in a bounce back spot and Milwaukee being less than efficient in getting stops. The Bucks naturally average more points at home than on the road, and Atlanta has been less than stellar on defense this season. For one of your NBA picks I recommend backing the over in this spot and look for a lot of points from these two teams in Milwaukee tonight.