NBA Picks: Hawks vs. Pacers Game 1

Jeff Grant

Saturday, April 20, 2013 4:38 PM GMT

Saturday, Apr. 20, 2013 4:38 PM GMT

The Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers split four games during their 2012-13 regular season series, as the two teams prepare to open up a best-of-seven series Sunday. 


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for this Eastern Conference matchup at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with the opening tip scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on TNT.

Flip the switch? 

Atlanta stumbles into the 2013 NBA playoffs, as it compiled a 3-5 straight up (SU) and 2-6 against-the-spread (ATS) record in April, but many around the team contribute the lack of success down the stretch to resting players for this particular moment. 

The Hawks earned the No. 6 seed in the East after finishing with a 44-38 overall record, including a 19-22 mark versus conference rivals. 

Losing streak 

Indiana will also look to turn things around after settling for the No. 3 seed, as the squad finished out its regular season schedule with its third three-game losing streak, including a 105-95 setback to the Philadelphia 76ers as 2.5-point home favorites Wednesday.

The Pacers are 10-11 SU and 8-11-2 ATS after suffering three or more consecutive losses the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 14-7 in that situation. 

Dynamic duo

Al Horford and Josh Smith combined to average 34.9 points, 18.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 2.8 blocks and 2.3 steals this season, which makes the Hawks a playable option when looking over the SBR Odds page. 

Atlanta averaged 98.8 points when matching up with Indiana this season—a team that finished second in the NBA in surrendering just 90.7 points a contest. 

Home-court advantage 

NBA handicappers are certainly aware of the Pacers success at this facility, as they finished with a 30-11 home record, including a 20-mark when facing conference foes.   

Indiana is 11-5 SU and 7-9 ATS as favorites of 6.5 to 9 points in front of its fans, with no edge in terms of the betting total (8-8 Over/Under). 

Be sure to check out Jordan Sharp's Nets vs. Bulls Game 1 picks!

Sunday, Sunday 

Day of the week trends are often one of the more overrated ones in sports betting, but it’s still significant to point out that the Pacers are 0-6 ATS when playing on Sunday, while the Hawks covered five of six games in that role.

In fact, dating back to the 2011-12 campaign, Indiana has failed to cover the number in its last eight opportunities in this particular situation.

[gameodds]5/226776/1537-43-19-999996/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Hawks as one of their NBA picks Sunday, as they’ve gone 10-4 in their last 14 conference quarterfinal games, while the Pacers are 4-10 ATS in the last 14 meetings in this series.

NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks +6.5 at 5Dimes

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