NBA Pick on Knicks to Cover ATS vs. Hawks Second Straight Game

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 8:07 PM GMT

The Atlanta Hawks are playing with revenge after losing by 14 points to the Knicks in New York two days ago, but that factor seems to be overcompensated for with this inflated line.

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NBA Pick: Knicks +8

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes 

 

In the back end of a home-and-home series Tuesday night, the home team seeking revenge seems overvalued when the New York Knicks (16-19, 20-15 ATS), who prevailed in the front end of this series at home on Sunday, this time pay a visit to those Atlanta Hawks (21-14, 17-17-1 ATS) at Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA at 8:05 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Southeast.

The point spread at Pinnacle has New York as a decided road underdog for this contest with the current line at +8 with NBA odds of +100.

 

About What Most Experts Expected
The prevailing belief regarding NBA Futures prior to the season was that the Hawks would regress a bit this year after probably overachieving as the top seeds in the Eastern Conference last season while the Knicks would be improved this season after some nice free agent signings, and for the most part both of those predictions have been accurate.

The Hawks enter this contest 21-14, leaving them one-half game behind the first place Miami Heat in the Southeast Division. Meanwhile, at 16-19 so far, the Knicks only need to be the winning NBA picks one more time to match their win total for all of last season, when they finished with the worst record in the East at 17-65, one game worse than the 18-64 Philadelphia 76ers!

 

Knicks Won by 14 in Big Apple
This is the second half of a home-and-home series after the Knicks prevailed handily 111-97 back home at Madison Square Garden on Sunday as 4½-point underdogs. They now find themselves as eight-point underdogs here in Atlanta, and while we can respect the Hawks seeking revenge in this spot, this point spread still seems inflated given the directions of these teams this season.

The Knicks have even been rather competitive on the road going 7-11 straight up and more importantly 11-7 ATS, and when they play defense like they did Sunday while forcing 15 turnovers including recording eight steals, that defense can travel anywhere. In fact, New York has been dramatically improved defensively all season compared to last year, as it is currently seventh in the league in field goal percentage allowed and second in three-point defense.

Granted the Knicks are only averaging 96.9 points on the road this season while allowing 101.6, but that differential of -4.7 points would still be good enough to cover this seemingly inflated number.

 

Decline in Three-Point Shooting
Now the Hawks have not been terrible as they are still playing .600 basketball, but one noticeable difference between this year’s team and last year’s has been in three-point differential. Last season, Atlanta was among the league leaders in both three-point shooting offensively and three-point defense, thanks to Kyle Korver shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc and having one of the premier perimeter defenders in the NBA in DeMarre Carroll.

It has been a totally different story this season however as Korver has not matched his unconscious shooting of last season, dropping the overall three-point ranking of the team to 20th at 33.9 percent. Meanwhile, the Hawks lost Carroll to the Toronto Raptors in free agency and the three-point defense has suffered accordingly ranking 23rd allowing a 36.8 percent success rate.

Also, while the Hawks are a very good 12-6 at home, they have not been as dominant here as they were last season, winning their home games this year by an average of only + 4.2 points.

 

Enjoying the Peach State
Finally, the Knicks have generally enjoyed their trips to Georgia because they are 11-5 ATS in the last 16 head-to-head meetings here in Atlanta. The improved Knicks are also 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up win and 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS win.

Whether or not the Knicks can duplicate their straight up win in New York two days ago is a subject open to debate here, but in any event we do see them being competitive from start to finish while at the very least taking this game down to the last few possessions and covering this rather large number this time visiting Atlanta on Tuesday.