NBA Picks: Hawks vs. Spurs

Darin Zank

Saturday, April 6, 2013 2:31 PM GMT

The Spurs, who are down a couple of starters, are favored by a touchdown over the Hawks. Can they overcome the personnel losses not only to win, but cover the spread?

San Antonio and Atlanta are both headed to the NBA playoffs, but both have also been struggling a bit lately. So both teams will be looking to right their ships when they meet Saturday night in San Antonio.

And which way are we going with our money on this inter-conference match-up?

Spurs-Hawks Betting Lines

Most basketball books we visited Saturday morning opened San Antonio as a 7.5-point NBA odds favorite over Atlanta, and posited the OVER/UNDER at 194.5. But while the spread held steady in the early betting, the total quickly dropped two points, to 192.5. 

For those out there who think the Hawks have a chance to win this game outright Atlanta can be found at upwards of +300 on the NBA betting moneyline at some shops. 

Spurs-Hawks Game Set-Up 

San Antonio (56-20 SU, 39-35ATS), which has led the West most of this season, has lost three of its last four games, after falling at Oklahoma City Thursday night 100-88. 

So the Spurs are now tied for the lead in the Western Conference with OKC. 

Atlanta (42-35 SU, 35-40 ATS) has lost two in a row and five of its last nine, after falling straight-up to Philadelphia Friday night 101-90 as six-point home chalk. The Hawks allowed the usually offensively-challenge Sixers to score 40 points in the first quarter, fell down by double-digits and never fully recovered. 

So while Atlanta has already clinched a playoff spot, it now sits in the six spot in the East, which means it would start the post-season on the road at Indiana. 

Spurs-Hawks Recent History

San Antonio won the first meeting between these teams this season 98-93 in Atlanta back on Jan. 19. Spurs G Tony Parker tossed in 23 points and dished out 12 assists as San Antonio covered the spread as three-point road favorites. So the Spurs have beaten the Hawks four times in a row, 11 of the last 12 times they've met, and 14 times in a row in San Antonio. 

[gameodds]5/224102/43-19-999996-349/us[/gameodds]

Injury Update 

San Antonio is already playing without F Manu Ginobili, who's dealing with a bad hamstring, and Parker, who leads the team in scoring and assists, missed some recent action with a sore ankle, then banged his shin in the loss to OKC . He is also not expected to play Saturday night. So the Spurs are shorthanded, although they have, over recent seasons, shown an ability to play through such situations. 

Atlanta, meanwhile, is also a bit short, playing without Devin Harris, Louis Williams and Zaza Pachulia, who on the season had combined to average 30 points, 11 boards and eight assists per game. 

Check out the Rockets vs. Nuggets here~

Spurs-Hawks Betting Trends 

Atlanta is 38-38 on the totals this season, as Hawks games have averaged 195 points. 

San Antonio is 32-42 on the totals, even though Spurs games have averaged 200 points. 

The Hawks are also 0-5 ATS over their last five games, but 21-17 ATS on the road this season. 

San Antonio is 3-9 ATS over its last 12 games. 

Free NBA Pick for Saturday 

Atlanta hasn't done much to impress lately, and is playing on a back-to-back situation. But a touchdown just seems like a bit too much for San Antonio to give without Parker and Ginobili. So despite some qualms we're leaning toward the dog for our free NBA pick on this game. 

Pick: Take the Hawks at the +8 points (-115) offered at Bovada