The Atlanta Hawks will put their record on the line when they visit New Orleans tonight. Fortunately, this experienced sports handicapper feels confident with his prediction & shares that pick.
Atlanta Hawks vs. New Orleans 8:05 ET NBA
A look at the NBA standings finds that Atlanta has surpassed Golden St. for the best record in the NBA. Note the motivation for New Orleans in this. The Pelicans are 25-22 SU for the season, a record which would have put them in 6th place in the Eastern Conference. In the more highly competitive West, they remain 2 games behind Phoenix for the 8th playoff spot. In addition, New Orleans has the motivation of 101-91 revenge, a defeat in late November which began Atlanta's current run to the top of the NBA standings. That includes 19 consecutive victories for Atlanta, yet another highly motivating factor for New Orleans.
New Orleans enters tonight with positive momentum, following a 108-103 victory on this court Friday night vs. the LA Clippers. That outright win as 6 point underdog lifts the New Orleans' record on this court to 16-6 SU, 14-8 ATS. New Orleans has won 7 of their most recent 10 games, despite missing Anthony Davis on occasion who has missed several games with a sprained groin. But, Davis is listed as probable for tonight. Meaning, PG Holiday is the only key cog out of the New Orleans' lineup. Expect the Pelicans to bring their "A" game with plenty of motivation tonight.
Atlanta keeps rolling on with winning streaks of 33-2, 19-0 SU and 28-7, 15-3 ATS. All 11 of their recent victories have come by 6 or more points. Atlanta closed out January with a 91-85 victory vs. Philadelphia. In doing so, the Hawks were the first NBA team to ever go through a calendar month at 17-0 SU. Yet, that 6 point win vs. Philly could have been a danger signal. The Hawks led that game by 21 points at one point in time. Much of the reason for the Atlanta success has been because of their extraordinary depth. That will now be tested this week. This is the first of 5 games in an 8-day period for Atlanta, including a high-profile game with Golden St. on the 6th and a visit to Memphis on Sunday the 8th. After they play at Minnesota on the 9th, they will have played 8 games in 13 days. This is an issue because they are missing a pair of top wing players in Carroll and Sefolosha, as well as backup point guard Mack.
With the West winning 65% of the games vs. the East, it is never easy to back an Eastern favorite vs. a Western team. But, Atlanta is 13-2 SU vs. the West and single digit road favorites in NBA odds continue to be profitable at 124-88 ATS.
Free NBA Picks: Take Atlanta Hawks -3.5 at 5Dimes