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Hawks vs. Kings: NBA Picks and Predictions

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Hawks vs. Kings: NBA Picks and Predictions
De'Aaron Fox #5 and Buddy Hield #24 of the Sacramento Kings. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

Two surging teams clash on Wednesday night when Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks visit De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and NBA picks.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Sacramento Kings

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at PHX Arena

The Hawks opened as 3-point favorites and over at FiveThirtyEight, they have them at -1.5. This leaves a 1.5-point gap between the projections and the actual NBA odds. We need at least two points between the projections and the lines before we lay any serious wood. Here we are not getting enough. FiveThirtyEight gives the Hawks a 55 percent chance to win. The equivalent moneyline is -122.

For support, we turn to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s projections; he has the Hawks at -3.40 using his Rating numbers, and at -2.65 using his eigenvector analysis. That leaves little room to grab potential betting value with the Hawks -3 at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review). Our arbitrage betting calculator can help you take advantage of the differences in sportsbook odds.

Hawks Got Hunter Back

The Hawks might be coming off a 119-110 road loss against the Clippers on Monday but they won their previous eight games and they're 9-1 under new head coach Nate McMillan. Sure, they beat a Lakers team without LeBron James for most of the game and their schedule hasn't been tough but a squad doesn't win eight consecutive games unless something is going right and McMillan deserves a lot of credit for this.

An encouraging sign has been that they haven't needed Trae Young to do the heavy lifting as a scorer. Young is averaging 22.2 points and 9.0 assists in his last 10 games while Danilo Gallinari has stepped up his game as of late, adding 15.3 points on 44.6 percent shooting from the field and 40.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Hawks just got De'Andre Hunter (plus-2.2 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) back and that will also boost their offense. Hunter had just eight points in 20 minutes off the bench against the Clippers but he will likely have a bigger role in Sacramento.

Kings Bounce Back in Cleveland

The Kings could have built momentum after back-to-back wins against the Wizards and Celtics but the 76ers blew them off the court 129-105, despite being without Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid last Saturday. Sacramento bounced back with a 119-105 road win against Cleveland on Monday, led by 30 points from De'Aaron Fox and a career-high 28 points from Tyrese Haliburton.

De'Aaron Fox has hit big shots down the stretch on most nights and in the win over Washington. Buddy Hield has been on fire as of late, averaging 21.5 points on 44.9 percent 3-point shooting in his last 10 games. Hield had 19 points and six rebounds on 5 of 10 from beyond the arc against the Cavaliers and with his 3-point shooting can be a difference-maker on Wednesday.

Prediction

The Kings rank 29th in the NBA, allowing 119.3 points per game but Fox, Hield, Haliburton and Harrison Barnes can keep them in this contest. I can't wait for the Trae Young against De'Aaron Fox matchup, which will likely determine the outcome in this game and I do see both players trading baskets regularly.

Atlanta will need more from Gallinari, who scored just six points in 24 minutes off the bench against the Clippers and Hunter can be an X-factor, helping this game go Over the total. Yes, 236.5 points is a lot but the Hawks rank 10th in the league with 111.8 points per 100 possessions while the Kings are 11th with 111.6.

The Over is 4-0 in Atlanta's last four games as a road favorite and 7-1 in Sacramento's last eight games as a home underdog. Both teams have efficient offenses and the Kings rank 9th in the NBA with 102.5 possessions per game. They can push the pace against the Hawks.

NBA Pick: Over 236 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

Over 236(-110)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.