NBA Picks: Hawks vs. Nets

Jeff Grant

Friday, January 18, 2013 12:32 PM GMT

The Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets will face off for a second straight time Friday night, as the Eastern Conference rivals meet at the Barclays Center. Let’s take a closer look at the current NBA odds for this affair.


Inconsistency 

 

Atlanta hasn’t won back-to-back games in the month of January, as it comes off a 109-95 win over the New Jersey Nets as three-point home favorites Wednesday, while going OVER the posted total of 187.5. The Hawks played without the services of Josh Smith, who leads the team in scoring, but was suspended by the franchise for one game after an incident in practice. Atlanta is 1-5 against the spread after a win by 10 or more points this season.

Carlesimo factor

Brooklyn has still managed to compile a solid 9-2 record under interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo despite its most recent setback, as it will now focus on trying to snap a six-game losing streak in this series. The Nets are averaging 102.2 points per game over their last 11 contests, which is far better than their 94.5 mark in the first 28 games of the 2012-13 NBA campaign.

Life on the road

Sports bettors need to realize that the Hawks have been a pretty mediocre team on the road when making their NBA picks Friday night, as they’ve put together a 9-10 record overall, which includes a 4-6 mark versus conference opponents.Atlanta has averaged 82.2 points in its last five road games, with the UNDER going 4-1 in that particular span.

Defense is the key

It’s clearly obvious that the Nets have been a better offensive team under Carlesimo’s watch since the firing of Avery Johnson, but they still need to place a major emphasis on defense if they wish to make a run in the Eastern Conference this year. Brooklyn ranks fifth in the NBA in allowing 94.4 points per game, while winning 19 of 24 games when holding foes under 100 points.

Betting trends offer little

It’s always important to watch the NBA odds page throughout the day, but there’s really no clear edge in terms of betting trends for this rematch. The Hawks are 0-2 ATS as an underdog of 6 to 6.5 points, while the Nets are 0-4 ATS as a home favorite within that point range. The home team has covered the NBA betting lines in 16 of the last 21 meetings in this series, but this is the first-ever meeting between theses two franchises inside this venue.

[gameodds]5/134350/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their sports picks Friday night, as the UNDER is 5-1 when the Hawks play with a number between 190 and 194.5, while the Nets have fallen short in five of their last seven game following a straight-up loss.

NBA Pick: Under 192