Heat vs Hawks NBA Picks: Slow Paced Game Expected, Take 'Under'

David Lawrence

Monday, December 14, 2015 12:00 PM GMT

The Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks both started the season well but have fallen on hard times. They’ll meet on Monday as both teams could use a win. Check our NBA pick inside.

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NBA Pick: Under 191.5
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

Momentum
The Heat and Hawks have been both slumping over the last couple of weeks. The Hawks looked pretty good to start the season when they won seven of their first eight games but they’ve stumbled since. They have dropped 10 of their last 17 games and are coming off one of their worst losses in a long time. On Saturday, they were hosting the San Antonio Spurs and only managed to score a total of 25 first half points. They finished the game with 78 and ended up losing by 25.

As for the Heat, they’re coming off 100-97 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday but that ended a three-game losing streak. This is a team that started the year 9-4 but is now just 4-5 over their last nine games. Their offense has fallen off the map and that’s why they’ve been a reasonable under bet on the NBA odds in recent games. They haven’t scored more than 103 points in any of their last eight contests, averaging just 94.4 points per outing. Unless they find a way to score more, they are going to have a tough time competing – even in the weak Eastern Conference.

 

Matchup
These teams have already squared off once this season when the Hawks beat the Heat 98-92 in Miami. Now it’s the Hawks turn to play host. Overall, the Heat have now lost seven in a row to the Hawks including four straight in Atlanta. The Heat played on Sunday night, so this is a back-to-back situation for them. They are 0-1 on the second night of back-to-backs this season and just 7-11 in their last 18 in that situation.

The good news for the Heat is that they’ve been playing fantastic from a defensive standpoint. They are allowing just 93.7 points per game this month, which is the second-fewest in the NBA only behind San Antonio. The issue is that their offensive points per game is 27th as they’re scoring just 92.6 points per game. The good news for them is that the Hawks are lower down the rung in the month of December, scoring just 91.2 points per outing.

There are a few injuries to keep in mind as the Heat’s Tyler Johnson and Josh McRoberts are questionable for this contest. As for the Hawks, Mike Scott has a shoulder injury and is questionable as well.

 

What’s The Pick?
This is a matchup of two solid defense teams as both are ranked in the Top 12 in points allowed per game in December. It’s also a matchup of two teams that are playing very poorly at the offensive end these days as both are in the bottom four of offense. It’s a low total in this spot but that’s what I’m looking at for my NBA picks as I’m expecting an under. This should be an ugly, slow half-court type of a game where both teams try to grind out a much-needed win.