NBA Picks: Hawks vs. Grizzlies

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, January 12, 2014 2:57 PM GMT

The Grizzles host the Hawks on Sunday at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee with the opening tip slated for 6:05 PM ET. Where does our trusty handicapper say we should place our money?

According to NBA betting odds Memphis is a 4.5 point home favorite and the posted total is 192.5. The underdog has covered the last 5-games between these clubs. Atlanta has covered 10 of the last 13 when facing Memphis.

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Attempting to Continue the Momentum

The Atlanta Hawks hope to ride the momentum from a successful 2-game home stand that saw them pull of a couple of upset wins. Last Wednesday they hosted the Eastern Conference leading Indiana Pacers and won 97-87 as a 4.0 point underdog. Then on Friday they were an 83-80 winner as a 2.5 points underdog over the Houston Rockets. The wins improved the Hawks to 14-5 at home this season. Unfortunately they haven’t had the same success on the road where they’re 6-12 on the year. The Hawks enter today 2nd in the Southeast Division 7.0 games behind the 1st place Miami Heat, and are 4th overall in the Eastern Conference with a record of 21-17.

Tightening the Screws Defensively

Atlanta has allowed 91-points or less in their last 4 and 5 of their last 6-games. They’ve gone under the total in their last 6-games overall. The average combined total score in those last 6-games was 180.3. Prior to that recent stretch the Hawks had allowed 100-points in more in 6 of their 7-games, and had gone over the total in 9 straight games.

Finding Some Offense

The Memphis Grizzlies have had the reputation over the last few seasons as a team that’s methodical offensively, and stout on the defensive end. When looking at this season’s statistics there hasn’t been any drastic changes that would allow one to change their opinion in that regard. Memphis is 21st in the league in scoring offense averaging 96.3 points per game, and 6th in scoring defense allowing 97.5 points per contest. However, in their last 4-games they’ve scored 104-points or more in each, and they went over the total in their last 4, and 6 of their last 7.

Disappointing Start to the Year

Memphis hasn’t got off to the kind of start to the season that they anticipated. This is an organization that fully expects to be part of this year’s postseason party. If they plan on doing so, they need to start picking up the pace. They’ve shown signs of doing so of late by winning 6 of their last 10-games to improve to 16-19 on the season. Memphis is currently 4th in the 5-team Southwest Division 11.5 games behind the 1st place San Antonio Spurs, and 10th overall in the Western Conference. They’ve actually been better on the road this season (8-7) than at home (8-12).

NBA Betting System

Any road team (Atlanta) with a total of between 190.0 to 199.5 that’s held their last 5 opponents to 42.5% or less shooting from the field in each of those games, and both teams in this contest average 82 or more field goal attempts per game, has seen 77 of those 116-games (66.4%) go over the total since the beginning of the 1996-1997 season. The game to over the total for your free basketball picks.

NBA Pick: Atlanta/Memphis to go over the total of 192.5