NBA Picks: Visiting Hawks Will Cover ATS Against Struggling Knicks

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, January 3, 2016 1:54 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016 1:54 PM UTC

The Hawks swoop into New York as winners of seven of their last eight while the Knicks are trending the other way as losers of five of their last six. Let's review what the NBA odds have.

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NBA Pick: Hawks -5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Atlanta Hawks (21-13 SU, 17-16-1 ATS)
The  Atlanta Hawks are only 2½ games back of the top spot, currently held by the Cleveland Cavaliers, in the Eastern Conference and are winning despite an hellacious shooting streak by three-point marksman Kyle Korver. The league leader in three-point percentage last season has gone stone cold failing to connect from beyond the arc eighteen straight times over the course of two games.

Nevertheless the Hawks, installed as 3½ point road underdogs by the NBA odds makers against the Rockets, overcame his woeful shooting performance in their last game when they battled back from a 19-point deficit to claim a 121-115 victory with contributions ranging from Al Horford (30 points, 14 rebounds) to Kent Bazemore (26 points) to Jeff Teague and Paul Milsap who both chipped in 22 points apiece. The Hawks ended the game with 10 steals and 19 blocked shots in their victory over the Rockets.


New York Knicks (15-19 SU, 19-15 ATS)
A few weeks ago if you were including the Knicks in your NBA picks you were covering with regularity as New York cashed against the Kings, Trailblazers, T-Wolves, 76'ers and Bulls. But since they touched down in Orlando on December 21st the magic suddenly left and they have dropped five of their last six straight up and covered the number just twice in that six-game span. The Knicks' scoring woes continue as they topped 100 points only once, which happened to occur not so coincidentally in their lone win, since their tailspin began. They are averaging 97.5 points per game which ranks them 24th in the league in scoring.

New York's latest setback occurred on New Year's Day when they fell 108-81 to the Bulls in Chicago. The Knicks rallied from 17 down but an historically low scoring fourth quarter put the final nail in their coffin. New York bucketed just eight points over the last 12 minutes for the lowest total in the history of the franchise's fourth quarter performances. The Knicks missed 17 of its 19 shots in the final frame which opened the door to a blowout Bulls' victory. Carmelo Anthony led all New York scorers with 20 points while Jose Calderon hit all three of his attempts from beyond the arc and finished up with 18 points of his own.


Betting Analysis
The Hawks have handled New York with relative ease this season burying the Knicks 117-98 on December 26th in Atlanta and prior to that defeated them in New York 112-101. The Hawks are 3-1 straight up and ATS in the last four contests played in the Big Apple. Atlanta is 5-1 ATS in their last five games against teams with a losing record and 6-2 against the number in their last eight games overall. Meanwhile the Knicks are 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 games when playing a team with a winning record.

The only player for the Knicks clicking right now is Carmelo Anthony while the entire Hawks team, with the lone exception of Kyle Korver, is working together harmoniously and mowing their opponents down. I see nothing that would lead me to believe the Knicks will suddenly break out of their funk and hang with a much more talented Atlanta Hawks team. While it is never a good feeling to lay points on the road sometimes it is the right thing to do.

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