Hawks to Cash as NBA Betting Underdogs vs. Mavericks

Steven Suarez

Monday, December 22, 2014 2:56 PM GMT

The Mavericks recently added Rajon Rondo to an already stacked team, so they're looking like they'll be a true contender in the Western Conference. Will they cover against Atlanta tonight?

Odds Overview
Both teams have been excellent early on this season, but the Mavericks will hold the favorites tag tonight on their home floor. They're laying 6.5 points in to the visiting Hawks.

A back-and-forth game is expected here, and an offensive outburst from both sides wouldn't shock anyone. The total is trading at 207.5 as of now and could reach an even higher number by tipoff. Follow along with the live line movement using Sportsbook Review's NBA Odds monitoring service to get an edge.

 

Dallas Mavericks
It wasn't as convincing as they would have liked, but the Mavs were able to grab a win over a Spurs team that was missing essentially all of their best players. Duncan, Leonard, Parker, Ginobili, Green and Splitter all did not play, yet Dallas still had to work extremely hard to get the 99-93 win at home.

In what was Rajon Rondo's first appearance with his new team, the point guard had six points, nine assists and seven rebounds, with two steals and four turnovers in all. The Mavericks were led by Monta Ellis, who exploded for 38 points on 15-of-23 shooting, with Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki and Devin Harris also scoring in double figures.

One would think Dallas is only going to get more efficient as time goes on, though it's certainly going to be an adjustment now that Rondo's in town. But, it's hard to argue with how talented the Mavs' starting five is: Rondo, Ellis, Parsons, Nowitzki and Chandler -- this team is going to make a lot of noise come playoff time.

 

Atlanta Hawks
One team that's quietly flying under the radar is Atlanta. The Hawks currently hold a 19-7 overall record and are ranked second in the Eastern Conference standings behind only Toronto. Ahead of tonight, they've won three straight while sporting an impressive 9-1 mark over their previous 10 games.

Atlanta recently wrapped up an excellent road win over James Harden and the Rockets on Saturday. Kyle Korver hit four threes on his way to 22 points, while both Al Horford and Paul Millsap contributed in a number of different ways in the win. As a team the Hawks shot 51.4 percent from the floor.

It should also be noted that Atlanta has coped just fine without starting point guard Jeff Teague healthy. Teague has missed the team's last two games, but the Hawks had no trouble dominating LeBron and the Cavs and then topping Houston, with both wins coming on the road. It's clear this team is clicking and firing on all cylinders at the moment, and the statistics would back that statement up. Atlanta is ranked in the top eight in both scoring offense and scoring defense heading into Monday night's game with Dallas.

 

NBA Picks
We think a good chunk of the public will be drawn in by the notion of backing the new-look Mavericks at home against a pretty unsexy team in the Hawks.

But, Atlanta is playing great basketball right now, even without Teague. The Hawks have tremendous chemistry on the court, as evidenced by their league-leading assist rate (25.8 points per game). They also rank fifth when it comes to points allowed (97.0 per game), so we think it may be a mistake to overlook them as underdogs here.

Regardless of whether Teague is out, we like Atlanta to cash as NBA betting underdogs. Schroder and Mack have filled in admirably, and the team hasn't skipped a beat. While the Mavericks continue to adjust to life with Rondo, we'll try to take advantage by backing the Hawks with our NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks +4.5 at BookMaker