NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks -4 over Brooklyn Nets

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

The Hawks are coming off of a 39-point loss to the Bulls where they scored only 58 points while the Nets have won seven straight games, but that actually gives Atlanta good line value.

There could be a contrarian player’s dream on Wednesday night when the red-hot Brooklyn Nets (23-15, 8-8 away) pay a visit to a slumping Atlanta Hawks team (21-16, 12-6 home) at Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA at 7:35 ET, especially after the Hawks just lost by 39 points on Monday.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Atlanta as a modest home favorite for this contest with the current line at -4 with odds of -108.

Now we admit that it may take some courage to play the Hawks after Atlanta nearly set a franchisee low for points in a game in 97-58 loss to the Bulls on Monday, as only a layup by Jeff Teague with seven seconds left prevented the Hawks from accomplishing that dubious distinction.

However, we feel that game was rock-bottom for the Hawks and they only have one direction to go from here. Just as with other professional sports, NBA teams do not like to get embarrassed, and when teams get blown out like Atlanta was and are then favored in their next game, an indication that the team does have ability, they have usually responded well.

How well may you ask? Well, since 1990. NBA teams that have lost by more than 35 points and are then favored have responded by going 40-24-1, 62.5 percent ATS! As for the fact that the Hawks have now lost six of their last seven games overall, consider that five of the six losses came on the road with the only home loss coming to the revitalized Celtics, while the lone win came here at home in a covering 103-95 win over the Utah Jazz.

That was easily the highest scoring game for the Hawks in the last seven games, over which time they have averaged an alarming 85.0 points, and Atlanta is still 12-6 straight up at home this season where it is averaging 99.6 points. Also keep in mind that the Hawks averaged 97.9 points over their first 30 games this year before hitting this seven-game rough patch, so this could simply be a brief variance period.

With that in mind, that embarrassment on Monday could work to the Hawks’ benefit as it may actually serve as a wake-up call to snap them out of their doldrums.

Now the Nets have certainly been playing great basketball since interim coach P.J. Carlesimo replaced the fired Avery Johnson, as the Nets won their seventh consecutive game and improved to 9-1 under Carlesimo with a 113-106 win over the Toronto Raptors back in Brooklyn last night.

With that said, the Nets gave beaten only two teams with winning records since Carlesimo took over. One of them was a truly impressive win on the road over the Oklahoma City Thunder where the Nets certainly deserved a lot of credit. The other win came at home vs. the offensively challenged Indiana Pacers on Sunday where a 25-10 discrepancy in foul shots made helped Brooklyn to the 97-86 win while shooting only 40.7 percent from the field.

Also, out of 30 NBA teams, the Nets have a schedule rated 29th in SOS. Despite Atlanta’s recent difficulties, the Hawks are still five game over .500 while in second place and 3½ games behind the Miami Heat in the Southeast Division. Thus, look for the more motivated Hawks to bounce back strong with a nice home win.

[gameodds]5/134314/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Hawks -4 (-108)

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