The two New York teams had started to turn it around for the New Year, however the Nets are once again dealing with injury concerns, which could derail their momentum. Not only is their star center out for the season, but also Deron Williams is a game time decision tonight with a sore left ankle, and if he is unable to go, you can bet that the Hawks at their current price will have come value.
Atlanta knows all about losing their star center for the season, and even though there is a very small chance Horford returns at some point this season, both of these teams are in trouble without their respective star big men.
Tonight against one another, the Hawks are +2 underdogs in the NBA Odds, with a total of just under 200 points at 198. With Williams hobbled by an ankle injury, I think the Hawks should be looked at as the team with value behind them. Although they lost Horford, Pero Antic has played well since taking over the majority of the minutes in Atlanta, and I think he can give enough paint presence to slow down the Nets.
If Williams sits, that will send the line almost in Atlanta’s favor, so while the odds are currently at +2, I am recommending a speculative Hawks +2 wager to your NBA Picks tonight. If Williams sits, Jeff Teague could quietly have a big game, as could Kyle Korver. The Nets are one of the worst teams at defending shooting guards, and if Korver heats up, the Nets will lose at home tonight.
My Pick: Hawks +2
Without Chris Paul, the Clippers are going to have to trudge along for the next month and change without their super star. However this is the exact reason why LA signed Darren Collison, and he is more than capable of standing in for Paul until the All Star Break. Tonight the NBA Odds have the Clippers as big -10 ½ favorites, with a total of 198.
Not only are the Clippers missing their best player, but the Magic could once again be without their best player, Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic is nursing a sprained left ankle, and his status is in question tonight after missing the last two games. However he was seen warming up before Saturday’s game, so he probably has at least a shot at playing tonight.
Either way, I am laying off the spread and going with the total of 198 in this game. I could easily see the over having some nice value tonight, regardless of if Vucevic is able to suit up. The Clippers are not great defending the post this season, and either way it goes with the Magic center, the Clippers should give up some points in the paint to the likes of Tobias Harris and Glen Davis. Both are somewhat of a mismatch for Blake Griffin, as he is for them. There are mismatches all over the board tonight in this late game, and I think it could lead to more scoring. The Clippers are going to force less turnovers without Paul, and it should lead to an even game tonight with plenty of buckets from both teams.
My Pick: OVER 198