Atlanta continues on their long west coast road trip this evening, as they meet with the Lakers for the first time this season. So, how do we feel about this one for our sports picks?
NBA Picks: Hawks vs. Lakers
Atlanta had been on a nice streak, but fell into the trap in Phoenix on Friday night, and now they have a much tougher game against L.A.
The NBA Odds for this one favor the Lakers at -5 ½ with a total of 205 ½. Will Los Angeles come up with a rare home win and cover in this one, or will the Hawks bounce back and continue to play well out west?
Away from ATL
The Hawks and myself included fell into the trap set by the books on Friday night, as I couldn’t help but lay the four points with Atlanta after they had won every game on their road trip up until that point. It turned what would have been a 5-0 night for me into a still solid 4-1.
The Hawks has been very good ATS as well on this road trip, and the loss at Phoenix has been their only failure to cash, going 3-1 ATS in their last four games. The Hawks are 16-13 ATS on the road this season, but a lot of that is of course due to the three straight wins they got ATS on the road this past week.
Atlanta has not faired well against the Lakers in the past, especially on the road, but this of course is not the prestigious Lakers of old this season. The Hawks are +5 ½ or even +6 underdogs, and they have a better shot at covering against LA tonight then they’ve had in a while. The Lakers have covered their last three meetings with the Hawks overall dating back to 2011, but of course with no Pau Gasol, these are much different teams.
Lakers in sight of postseason
LA is only 2 ½ games back of Houston for the 8th and final playoff spot, and if they beat the Hawks and Dallas does good work against Houston tonight, the Lakers could find themselves closer to the playoffs than they have been almost all season.
Although they have the trends on their side, the Lakers are a much different team than the ones that have covered five of their last six meetings with Atlanta from Staples Center. This LA team is giving up 101 points per game, and is more dysfunctional than most reality television shows on right now.
LA has a tough test laid out. The Hawks’ big men are both playing fierce basketball right now, and Atlanta has been playing good basketball overall, winning seven of their last ten games SU. Once again, the trends are on one side, but I still can’t trust it, so as I have been doing a lot of lately, I’m siding with the total because of a devalued spread here to close out Sunday night.
The Sharp Pick
The fact that this total opened at 207, and is now down to 205 ½ is giving us some added value to the over in this one. In the month of February, the Hawks were scoring over 102 points per game, and against the Lakers tonight, I could see even more coming. On top of that, Atlanta was giving up 99.5 points during that same 11 game stretch in the month of February.
The Lakers we all know can give up points with the best of them, and even though the Hawks play good defense, a road trip like this can wear you down, which will affect defense first. We saw it last night with a very tired Warriors team who gave up 104 points to the Sixers! The Lakers will score with consistency tonight, as they have averaged 103 ppg at home this season, and the Hawks will be able to score as well, making the over my late game NBA pick for Sunday night.
NBA Pick: OVER 205 ½ at bet365