NBA Pick on Underdog Hawks to End Series in Game 6 on Road

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, May 15, 2015 2:58 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Friday.

 



After a dramatic win in Game 5, the top seeds in the Eastern Conference are in a position to end their conference semifinal on the road Friday night when those Atlanta Hawks (67-26, 27-19 away) visit the fifth seeded Washington Wizards (52-39, 32-13 home) for Game 6 from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN, with the Hawks leading the series 3-2.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Atlanta as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +3 with odds of -106.


Have Not Resembled Top Seed Often
The Hawks have not resembled a top seed that won 60 games during the season for the first time in franchise history very often during these playoffs, although Atlanta did finally shoot like it has all year in a critical road win in Game 4. However, the game that may ultimately prove to be the biggest of this series was Game 5 which the Hawks eked out dramatically in a low scoring game played at Washington’s pace 82-81.

The Wizards swept past the fourth seeded Atlantic Division Champion Toronto Raptors in the first round and they looked like a team on a mission when then immediately taking away home court advantage from the top seeds by being the winning NBA picks in Game 1. However, Atlanta re-seized control with the win in Washington in Game 4 and the Wizards may now have a tough time bouncing back after thinking they had their second win in Atlanta in this series.


Did Hawks Take Away Wizards’ Spirit?
Game 5 was a game of runs even if neither team lit up the scoreboard, and with the Wizards down by two points, they went for the jugular and seemingly succeeded when Paul Pierce drained a three-pointer to give Washington a one-point lead with eight seconds remaining, after which he barked out “Series!” Unfortunately for the Wizards, that proclamation was premature.

The Hawks’ Dennis Schroder then missed a shot on the final Atlanta possession, but Al Horford grabbed the offensive rebound and put back a lay-up with one second left for what to this point anyway just may be the biggest basket in Atlanta Hawks history, while quite possibly crushing the hearts of the Wizards.

Thus the Hawks won despite shooting 34-for-83, 41.0 percent from the field and Kyle Korver finishing with just three points, which they have to feel good about as neither of those occurrences figure to repeat in this Game 6 in our nation’s capital tonight.


Washington Favored First Time
The Wizards were even worse from the floor on Wednesday shooting 33-for-88, 37.5 percent, and that was despite the unexpected early return of John Wall, who actually played well despite having five displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand as he finished with 15 points, seven assists and four rebounds in 37 minutes. Still, the way the game ended has to be disheartening in a contest where neither team shot well.

And now, due to Wall’s previously unexpected presence, the Wizards are favored in a game for the first time in this series as he fractured those bones in Game 1 in Atlanta, resulting in the Hawks being favored in the previous two games here at “The Phone Booth” vs. Wall-less Washington in Game 3 and Game 4.

Still, this does not seem like a good spot to suddenly be favored, as that ending to Game 5 has to sting emotionally and the pressure lies squarely on the Wizards in this game as they are playing to save their season.


Seeking First Ever Conference Final
Conversely, the Hawks do not figure to feel too much pressure knowing that if there is a Game 7, it would be back home in Atlanta. Obviously the Hawks would much rather put an end to this series sooner rather than later though, and should they complete the deed they would parlay their 60-win season into the first conference final appearance in team history.

We expect the Hawks to do just that tonight on the road, but for a bit of a safety net we recommend taking the points with Atlanta in Washington in Game 6 on Friday.

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NBA Pick: Hawks +3 (-106)