Lock Hawks to Cover ATS Our Sharp NBA Pick Against Pacers

Jay Pryce

Friday, February 5, 2016 2:33 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 2:33 PM GMT

The Hawks host the Pacers Friday night, looking to avenge two losses to Indiana earlier in the season. Atlanta has won 16 of 18 regular-season meetings in the Gate City.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2883212, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
NBA Pick: Hawks -4.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

The Hawks host the Pacers Friday night (7 p.m. ET) in Philips Arena, looking to avenge two losses to Indiana earlier in the season. Atlanta has won 16 of 18 regular-season meetings in the Gate City.

 

Indiana Pacers (26-23 SU, 25-23-1 ATS)
The Pacers are suffering a minor identity crisis midway through the season. After a blazing start in which they went 12-5 SU and against the NBA odds to tip off the season, Indiana has slumped to 14-18 SU and 13-18-1 ATS since. Paul George is the centerpiece and is in a shooting slump of late, but the team has yet to figure out any consistency around the All Star. Sometimes it lines up big and physical, while other times spreading it out small. Nevertheless, Indiana really struggles in the underdog role following their hot start, going 0-12 and 2-9-1 ATS when getting points since December 1.

Indiana’s defense, though, takes center stage when playing a team with a better opponent shooting percentage. The Pacers enter Atlanta yielding 44.1 percent from the field (10th best in the NBA), while the Hawks maintain a slightly better mark at 43.9 percent (eighth). Under this scenario, Indiana gives up 96.1 points a night, holding foes to below their team total in 16 of 21 games. The strong defensive effort has the Pacers at 15-6 ATS (7-3 ATS away from home) in this situation.

 

Atlanta Hawks (29-22 SU, 25-24-2 ATS)
The Hawks blew out the Sixers 124-86 on Wednesday night in Philly to go a half game up on the Heat in the dreary Southeast division. Mike Budenholzer’s men return home for this matchup, looking to build on a 8-2 SU and 7-2-1 ATS record in their last 10 at Philips Arena.

Backup center Tiago Splitter will likely miss his third game in a row with a right hip injury, leaving the trade-rumored Al Horford with a little more work to do. This may not be a bad thing, as Atlanta is successful if he finds his scoring touch. When Horford puts up 16 points or more on the night, Atlanta is 18-4 SU, 15-6-1 ATS. The big center is shooting 52 percent against the Pacers current roster, going 25-of-48 lifetime.

Atlanta tosses up the eighth most attempts in the league from behind the arc with 26.8 per game. It has struggled a bit against the NBA’s better teams defending the three, though. The Pacers enter the matchup with the fourth lowest rate in the league at 32.9 percent. In ten games against Ds with a stifling 33 percent or less mark, the Hawks are held to 32 percent from downtown versus 35 percent against higher. They score close to one three-pointer less a game (8.6-to-9.4) with four fewer points on average (4-6 SU and ATS). Defending the three could be the difference-maker in this expected close encounter.

 

Final Analysis
This is the type of opponent where the Pacers show up and make a game out of it. Nonetheless, the line may hold a point or two of value in the Hawks favor. Atlanta only put up 92 and 87 points in the previous matchups, and Budenholzer will come out with a new plan of attack. Atlanta -4.5 is the NBA pick.

comment here