NBA Picks: Trust Hawks To Take Inconsistent Rockets To The Wire

Charles Stark

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 12:24 PM GMT

The Atlanta Hawks visit the Houston Rockets tonight at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. Join us as we preview this game, break down the NBA odds and choose a pick for you.

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Free NBA Picks: Atlanta +2.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

NBA Odds Overview
Odds makers have made Houston a -2.5 -105 favorite like at Pinnacle Sports. For one of my NBA picks today, I will back Atlanta getting +2.5 at the same NBA odds of -105. This is simply a line play for me because I feel Houston should be a little bit bigger of a favorite for their recent play despite the loss to the Pelicans, as well as the fact that Atlanta is coming off a back to back.

 

Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta is averaging 101.9 points per game while shooting 46.2% from the field, and allowing 99.8 points per game on 44.4% shooting from the field. As mentioned, they just finished a nice win streak with a loss at Indiana last night. Quietly this Atlanta team has started to play some really good basketball recently and we are starting to see signs of the team they were last year. Offensively they remain very efficient ranking fourth in the league in shooting efficiency and effective field-goal percentage. They are not shooting the three quite as well as last year at just 34.3% per game, but their two point buckets are dropping at a nice 51.6% per game which ranks second in the NBA. On the defensive side is where Atlanta has struggled the most the season and was the main factor for their slow start of the season. They simply are not defending as well as last year, especially from beyond the arc where they allow 36.5% from distance which ranks as one of the worst in the league. Still, where I think they will be successful tonight is on the offensive end as Houston has been very inconsistent on that side of the ball, I anticipate they will get enough stops to take this game to the wire.

 

Houston Rockets
Houston is averaging 103.7 points per game while shooting 43.6% from the field, and allowing 105 points per game on 46.3% shooting from the field. They have been about as inconsistent of a team that you can find this season in the NBA. Offensively, for the most part, they have been fine and they still continue to fire away from distance ranking first in the league in three-pointers attempted per game at 30.8 per contest. Part of the inconsistency though is that they have not been moving the ball very well and are only averaging just over 21 assists per game. On top of that they have one of the worst assists/turnover ratios in the NBA ranking 25th in the league. Defensively is the main issue where Houston ranks dead last in opponent two point shooting percentage and one of the worst in overall opponent shooting percentage. This could be a major issue tonight against a team that is as efficient as Atlanta, and if Houston continues their subpar play on this side of the ball they will be out of the playoff picture within the next month in my opinion.

I have to go back to the line on this game and believe the odds makers have been put in a position where Houston must be favored because they are at home, but the small line is telling. Atlanta is a very good basketball team and for one of your NBA picks, I recommend grabbing them plus the points to either beat Houston or take this game to the wire. It'll be interesting to see how the Rockets play these next few weeks with what seems to be some turmoil going on in their organization.