Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Swinging Johnson - NBA Record (10-12,-12.2 units)
*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.
Last time out of the box we featured a Thursday night doubleheader where we wagered 2 units on the Spurs who won the game but failed to cover against the Mavericks but then we had a 5 unit MAX play on the Portland Trailblazers as they put the hammer down on the ailing New York Knicks 105-90 and covered the six point impost with ease.
We're still floundering in the NBA season but something tells me we'll find our footing in tonight's NBA picks with the match-up between the Hawks and the Nets.
Atlanta Hawks (36-29 SU, 30-33 ATS)
After dropping six of seven the Hawks have righted the ship with wins over the Lakers and Suns. It was just the home cooking they needed to get well but the Hawks venture into Brooklyn tonight where they are looking to knot the season series.
The big question for the Hawks will be the health of point guard Jeff Teague. Both he and Josh Smith were absent in Atlanta's 96-92 win over the Lakers Wednesday evening but they returned on Friday night with far different results when the Hawks extinguished the Suns 107-94. Smith looked eager to get back to work as he deposited 17 points and grabbed 11 boards to go along with 7 assists. Teague however was not sharp and made only 2 of 10 shots in 23 minutes off the bench. His replacement Devin Harris has been solid in relief of Teague with 17 points against the Lakers as the starter on Wednesday and sparkled in Friday night's contest when he split time with Teague gathering 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and added three steals.
Brooklyn Nets (38-27 SU, 30-33 ATS)
Shooting guard Joe Johnson says he'll be ready to go against his former team, recovering from a sore left heel which has nagged him at various times this season. While he looks to improve upon a poor performance last time he met the Hawks on March 9th he will certainly be content if the results are similar. Brooklyn dominated the Hawks in front of a quiet Atlanta audience 93-80 and proved the NBA oddsmakers wrong as they installed the visitors as 3 ½ point underdogs.
The Nets are set to embark upon an eight-game road trip that begins tomorrow night in Detroit so they are hoping to leave Brooklyn on a high note. If they are to do that they will need to employ the kind of sturdy defense that has been successful for them this season. Brooklyn is currently ranked 4th in points allowed but 19th in PPG. The Nets have won four of their last five and in those wins they allowed the opposition to score an average of only 83.5 points per game but in their lone loss to the 76'ers they surrendered 108 points.
The Hawks won the opening game of this season series 109-95 back on January 19th but Brooklyn squeaked out a 94-89 victory on their home court only three days later. In the third chapter of this series, the Nets handled Atlanta with relative ease coming away with a 93-80 decision.
I'm not sold on the Nets to blow away Atlanta tonight as they may be looking ahead to their arduous road trip which starts tomorrow night against the Pistons. However, the Hawks do not inspire me to believe that they can get an outright victory on the road against a good team. And if I don't believe my underdog has a decent chance of winning then I'm leery to back them unless I'm getting a bundle of points. I have not looked at the line but I am guessing the Nets to be five point home chalk in this one. Wait one moment while I check the SBR lines that the NBA odds makers are dealing in this one.
Thanks, I'm back. Well, I was close. The Nets are 4 ½ point favorites as of this writing. I'm not going to get nipped by the hook in what should be a fairly tight game.
Play Brooklyn -4 (buying a ½ point) -120 for 1 unit at Bookmaker for your NBA Picks.