NBA Picks: Pacers vs. Hawks Game 3

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 2:26 PM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 2:26 PM GMT

The Atlanta Hawks were unable to open up their playoff series against the Indiana Pacers with two straight road wins, but they’ll likely bounce back in a big way at home Thursday night.

Even Playing Field
Indiana has now won four Game 2s in a row after losing Game1s, as it registered a 101-85 victory over Atlanta as 7.5-point home favorites Tuesday, while going UNDER the betting total of 186.5. 

The Pacers were led offensively by forward Paul George, who finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds, but they’ll need to get some type of contribution from center Roy Hibbert moving forward.

Hibbert has gone 8-for-44 from the field in his last six games, and he’s failed to knock down a shot outside of the paint since April 4.

 
A Disappointing Second Half
Atlanta scored 52 points on 50 percent shooting from the field in the first half of Game 2, but it was limited to 33 second-half points on 29.33 percent shooting in the final 24 minutes of play. 

The Hawks hit nine of their first 17 attempts from beyond the arc, but missed 12 of their final 13.

NBA handicappers will find that the team is 4-1 ATS in its last five games following a SU loss.

Compare the top NBA Championship Betting Lines

Hitting the Road
The Pacers compiled a 21-20 SU record away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse during the 2013-14 regular season, but they failed to cover the number in 21 of their last 27 games in that situation. 

It’s also important to point out that in each of the previous five postseason series between Atlanta and Indiana, the side that won Game 1 has gone on to advance in the NBA playoffs.

 
Moving the Ball 
The Hawks ranked second in the NBA in averaging 24.9 assists per game, but they’ve totaled just 26 in that statistical category in the first two games of this series. 

Atlanta will need a big performance from point guard Jeff Teague in Game 3, who has scored 42 points in the first two games.

[gameodds]5/264175/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Hawks as one of their NBA playoff picks, as the Pacers are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 trips to Atlanta.

NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks

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