NBA Pick on Wizards and Hawks to stay ‘under’ in Game 2

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 2:43 PM GMT

Tuesday, May. 5, 2015 2:43 PM GMT

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Tuesday.

 



After Game 1 went ‘under’ despite neither team shooting the ball very well, look for an ‘under’ Tuesday night when the fifth seeded Washington Wizards (51-36, 20-24 away) again pay a visit to the top seeded Atlanta Hawks (64-25, 38-7 home) for Game 2 from Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT, with the Wizards leading the series 1-0.

The posted total at Bet365 is 198 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.


Washington Road Warriors
The Wizards returned to the playoffs after a prolonged absence last season, and they have been Road Warriors since returning to the post-season going 8-1 straight up away from home including 3-0 this year after rallying from a 10-point halftime deficit to take Game 1 here in Atlanta 104-98 on Sunday. Furthermore, Washington is a perfect 9-0 ATS in those road playoff games since last season.

The Hawks won 60 games during the regular season for the first time in franchise history and wrapped up the one-seed in the Eastern Conference relatively early, but this is a monumental game for Atlanta as it s well aware that it cannot afford to be the losing NBA pick in the first two games at home given that only three teams in NBA Playoff history have overcome that adversity to come back and win a series.


35 Points in Second Half
While that leads to some conflict in making an ATS selection for this game, we feel a bit better about this total as while Game 1 did end up going ‘over’ the posted total of 197, neither team actually shot the ball well combining to go just 39.7 percent from the field overall and the main reason for the ‘over’ was each team getting more second chance opportunities than usual, which does not figure to repeat itself here.

The Hawks got off to a fast start on Sunday as they were at 63 points at halftime, but they then managed just 35 points on a distressing 25.0 percent shooting in the second half to finish 37-for-98, 37.8 percent from the field for the game. Give credit to the Washington defense though as without much fanfare, that underrated unit finished second in the NBA in field goal percentage allowed this season at just 43.3 percent whole finishing 10th in points allowed at 97.8 per game.

Still, the Hawks managed to get to 98 points but that was with the help of an uncharacteristic 16 offensive rebounds. To give you an idea of how rare all of those second chances were, consider that Atlanta finished dead last in the NBA this season in both raw offensive rebounds per game with a mere 8.7 per game and in offensive rebounding percentage at 21.4 percent!


Wizards Did Not Shoot Much Better
The Wizards were not exactly lights-out in the opener either at only 41.8 percent, which was actually not all that unusual for a team that finished 17th in the NBA in scoring during the regular season with 98.5 points per game that was going up against a very good Atlanta defense that finished fifth in points against at 97.1 per game, sixth in field goal percentage allowed at 43.9 percent and seventh in three-point defense at 34.1 percent.

However, similar to the Hawks, the Wizards were able to pad their scoring thanks to 15 offensive rebounds, a similar anomaly that occurred in Game 1 of the first round vs. Toronto, and keep in mind they are a team that finished only 19th in the league in offensive rebounds per game this season with 10.5 per game and 17th in offensive rebounding percentage at 24.9 percent.

In other words, Game 1 would have gone safely ‘under’ if not for the anomalous offensive rebounding by both teams, and we expect normal regression in that area to make this Game 2 lower scoring.


Hawks Going ‘under’ in Playoffs under Budenholzer
Finally, the Hawks boast the NBA Coach of the Year this season in Mike Budenholzer, and this is the second straight season that the Hawks have made the playoffs under the former Gregg Popovich assistant at San Antonio. And Budenholzer has made a point of stressing defense in the playoffs with the Hawks allowing 95.4 points per game during the post-season since his arrival with the ‘under’ going 9-5 in those games.

That defensive mindset in a desperation spot for Atlanta combined with regression in the offensive rebounding relative to Game 1 should lead to an ‘under’ when Washington again visits the Hawks for Game 2 on Tuesday.

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NBA Pick: Wizards, Hawks ‘under’ 198 (-110)

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