Grow Your Bankroll with This Top Duo of NBA Picks ATS for Friday's Game 6 Matchups

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, May 14, 2015 6:07 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 14, 2015 6:07 PM UTC

Both top-seeded teams in their respective conferences, the Hawks and Warriors, can punch tickets to the conference finals with wins on Friday, but they will have to do it in enemy territory. Here are my ATS picks for the games with WagerWeb odds.

Hawks vs. Wizards (-2.5)
Wednesday's Game 5 in Atlanta had the Hawks as 8.5-point favorites on the NBA betting odds, and I took the points but still expected the home team to win. That's exactly what happened and in quite dramatic fashion. In fact, it was the start of one of the worst nights in Washington, D.C., sports history.

Washington clearly was energized by the return of All-Star point guard John Wall after he had missed the previous three games with non-displaced fractures in his left hand and wrist. The Wizards led 73-64 with 5:31 left in the game when the Hawks took a timeout. That totally turned around the momentum. Al Horford made two free throws, Kyle Korver a 3-pointer, Horford a rare 3-pointer, Horford a 20-foot jumper, Dennis Schroder an 18-foot jumper and Schroder a 5-footer. Just like that, a 14-0 run and 78-73 Hawks lead. Mr. Clutch Paul Pierce drained a 3-pointer to stem the tide for Washington. The score was tied 78-all with the Wizards coming out of a 20-second timeout with around 30 seconds left. Pierce turned the ball over and DeMarre Carroll scored to give the Hawks a two-point lead. But then out of a Washington timeout, Pierce hit another dagger of a 3-pointer with around eight seconds left and yelled "series!" to the Atlanta bench. Pierce counted his chickens a bit too soon, however. Out of Atlanta's timeout, Schroder took the ball to the hoop, but his shot was blocked by Wall. It looked as if the Wizards' Nene had the rebound, but Horford essentially ripped the ball away and dropped the ball in the hoop as time expired for a stunning 82-81 win. It was the first buzzer-beater of Horford's career. Sorry, Washington fans, but then the Capitals lost Game 7 of their Stanley Cup conference semifinal series in overtime at the Rangers shortly after.

The irony is that Nene was just inserted for defensive and rebounding purposes in  place of Marcin Gortat. Most times Nene corrals that ball. How will the Wizards respond to that gut punch in a game they should have won? And to their first two-game losing streak of the playoffs?

NBA Free Pick: Assuming no setbacks for Wall, give the points with your NBA picks and we have a Game 7 on Monday. The Hawks have covered only one of their past six after a win. Washington has covered six straight following a loss.

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Warriors vs. Grizzlies (+5)
Could Friday be the end of the Grizzlies as a Western Conference contender if they lose? Memphis is a nice city, but it's not where the top free agents are likely to go if given a choice -- and every NBA team is going to be flush with cash soon with the new TV deal upcoming. So Memphis needs to keep its own stars. One of the top free agents this summer will be Grizzlies All-Star center Marc Gasol. He's going to get maximum-level offers from a handful of teams, and the Knicks for sure covet him as target No. 1. Probably the Lakers too. Most believe that Gasol will re-sign with Memphis because that's the only city he has known since he and older brother Pau came over from Spain. But what if Marc thinks this team has plateaued? After all, Zach Randolph is on the downside of his career. So is Tony Allen. Gasol could  just about pick where he wants to go if he wants to win. I wouldn't recommend the Knicks or Lakers if the wants that to be soon.

Speaking of Allen, the defensive dynamo was a surprise scratch from Game 5 with a hamstring injury that also bothered him at the end of the regular season. His absence was clear as Warriors guard Klay Thompson scored a 21 points, his most this series, without Allen  harassing him. The Warriors won 98-78, their third blowout victory of this series. Allen will return in Game 6, he says. The Grizzlies in their past two elimination games: 120-109 loss in Oklahoma City (without a suspended Randolph) in last year's first round and 93-86 home loss to the Spurs in the 2013 West Finals. I sense a trend.

NBA Free Pick: Warriors cover to reach the West Finals. They are 9-4 ATS in their past 13 following an ATS win. The favorite is 7-3 ATS in the past 10 meetings.

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