Free NBA Picks: Roll With Reliable Spurs' Bench vs. Hawks

Jason Lake

Saturday, December 12, 2015 4:00 PM GMT

The San Antonio Spurs are a tremendous basketball team. But will the Spurs be a tremendous NBA pick this Saturday night when they visit the Atlanta Hawks?

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Dec. 11: 8-10 ATS, 3-1 Total
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Free NBA Pick: Spurs -3
Best Odds Offered By Heritage

 

It's always nice to get in a bit of a warm-up before you go play a basketball game. The San Antonio Spurs have a game Saturday night (8:00 p.m. ET) against the Atlanta Hawks; they warmed up on Friday by playing “basketball” against the Los Angeles Lakers. San Antonio won that scrimmage 109-87, cashing in as a 15-point home chalk with relative ease.

Atlanta, meanwhile, has been idle since Thursday's 107-94 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder (-7.5 at home). The Hawks will need that extra rest and any other advantage they can muster as 3-point home dogs on our NBA odds board. San Antonio is on a 10-game winning streak in this series at 7-3 ATS. Go back even further in time, and the Spurs are 26-4 SU and 21-9 ATS since 2001.

 

Home For A Rest
There's no need to go back that far, Sherman. The Hawks (14-10 SU, 11-12-1 ATS) have had five different head coaching regimes in the new millennium – we're primarily interested in what's happened since Mike Budenholzer took over in 2013. Here's the answer: The Spurs are 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS. Still pretty good.

As for that extra day of rest, it will definitely be an advantage, but not as much as it would be versus other teams. The Spurs (19-5 SU, 15-9 ATS) are notoriously good at managing their players' mileage; Tony Parker (19.5 PER, +1.8 BPM) was given the night off against the Lakers, and nobody had to play more than 27 minutes, as the reserves were able to come out in the middle of the fourth quarter with the game comfortably in hand.

Must Read: Clippers vs. Nets

Time Splitter
It's not easy to tell what the Hawks are going to deliver on any given night. For a while there, it looked like they'd get away without DeMarre Carroll's defense this year, after Kent Bazemore (16.9 PER, +0.6 DBPM) got off to such a good start at small forward. But Bazemore has already lost his spot in the rotation to Thabo Sefolosha (15.2 PER, +2.6 DBPM), and Atlanta is still just No. 14 in the league in defensive efficiency, down from seventh place last year.

Things haven't gone very well for former Spurs center Tiago Splitter (12.2 PER, -2.7 BPM), either. Splitter has been bothered by a hip injury, and Mike Scott (15.6 PER, -2.5 BPM) is questionable to play Saturday because of a knee contusion, so this could end up being another big game for San Antonio's bench. David West (15.6 PER, +2.1 BPM) should be nice and fresh after playing just 18 minutes against Los Angeles. Let's roll with the reliable Spurs for our NBA picks, and may the sphere be with you.