NBA Picks: Bet Hawks to Cover 3-Point Spread vs. Struggling Pelicans

Charles Stark

Friday, November 6, 2015 12:42 PM GMT

With one of the more interesting lines for Friday's NBA odds I like for the Atlanta Hawks to handle business against Anthony Davis & the New Orleans Pelicans.  

Odds Overview
NBA odds makers have come out across the board with Atlanta at -2.5. At first glance this line seems way off when we consider Atlanta being a playoff team compared to New Orleans who is suffering from some injuries, and they have not won a game yet. For one of my selections today I will take the Hawks to win this game by close to double digits. 

 

Atlanta Hawks
Offensively Atlanta is averaging 99.3 points per game, shooting 45% from the field, and 32.9% from beyond the arc. Kyle Korver might be back tonight which will help them on the perimeter, but overall offensively they have been fine with an effective field-goal percentage of 49.8% (ranked 10th). I was not a big fan of them losing Demarre Carroll but they have most of their pieces back from last year's playoff team. They should have a lot of success tonight against a New Orleans team that has yet to find a defensive identity. Atlanta should move the ball a lot and find a lot of open looks as they average 24.2 assists per game which ranks third in the NBA.

Defensively the Hawks are allowing 95.3 points per game, 40.8% shooting from the field, and 31% shooting from distance. As I've mentioned before Mike Budenholzer focuses on defense first which then will translate into good offense. This is a unit that knows how to play together on defense and they just do everything fundamentally right. Most notably on defense is there interior which is allowing just 39 points in the paint per game which ranks sixth in the NBA.

 

New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans is averaging 100.8 points per game, shooting 40.9% from the field, and 33.9% from beyond the arc. With Alvin Gentry continuing trying to run up-tempo with this team they should be able to put up a lot of points this season. Right now they have some key injuries that is hurting them and they have struggled on both sides of the ball. Head coach Gentry has lamented their shooting percentage from the floor, but where they are really lacking is on the defensive end.

Defensively New Orleans is allowing 115 points per game, 48.3% shooting from the field, and 40.9% shooting from beyond the arc. This is the guts of their problem in my opinion is the fact they have been very poor on this side of the ball. This comes back to the philosophy that they have brought in head coach Gentry, whom I respect mostly, but has never been known as a good defensive coach. They have the guys to play good defense but unfortunately I don't think they have been coached very well on that side so far this season. To compete with the Hawks they will have to play a lot smarter and harder on defense.

Until New Orleans shows me otherwise I see no reason to back them on a small line. With a player like Anthony Davis leading the way it is tempting to take New Orleans to play their best game of the year. Right now though I think there are just a little bit too flawed to hang with a well-rounded team in Atlanta. For one of your NBA picks I suggest taking the Hawks.

NBA Picks: Hawks -3 at Heritage

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