Pick Hawks +4 To Keep Winning Streak Alive Over Raptors

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, March 10, 2016 3:06 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 10, 2016 3:06 PM GMT

The Hawks are climbing the Eastern Conference standings while the Raptors trail top team Cleveland by only 2 ½ games. Let's review the NBA odds and pick the right side to back tonight. 

Atlanta Hawks (36-28 SU, 33-30-1 ATS)
Atlanta is playing now the way most expected them to play at the beginning of the season. They have not only won five of their last six but covered the number in every one of those six contests. Even their loss 109-105 loss to the best in the West, Golden State, was narrow enough to pay off all those who included the Hawks in their NBA picks. If there is one primary common denominator to Atlanta's recent run of good fortune it would be defense. Tossing aside the 109 points allowed to the Warriors the Hawks have limited their other five opponents to an average of 84.2 points per game.

After consecutive wins in consecutive nights over the Lakers and Clippers the Hawks continued their road trip with a visit to Salt Lake City in their last outing. Once again Atlanta did not disappoint and made the Jazz sing the blues by handing their hosts a 91-84 defeat as they dribbled out of Utah with another victory in hand and only one game left on this five game road trip. After tipping off against Toronto tonight they will return home to welcome the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

 

Toronto Raptors (42-20 SU, 32-29-1 ATS)
The Raptors, like the Hawks, have been winning but unlike their opponents tonight have not been very good at covering the NBA odds boards. Toronto has failed to cover the number in four of their last five games with the most recent ATS fail coming against the lowly Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. The Raptors were installed as 13 point home favorites but any chance of covering that double digit handicap vanished when they were outscored 35-14 in the second quarter. Toronto got it together in the second half and won the game 104-99 but didn't come close to sniffing an ATS cover.

DeMar DeRozen leads the team in scoring averaging 23.5 PPG and is the only member of the Raptors who has played in all 62 games this season. Kyle Lowry is right behind averaging 21.7 PPG and a team leading 6 ½ assists per game. Third year center Jonas Valanciunas, with his 10 points against Brooklyn on Tuesday, has now scored in double digits in a career-high 15 consecutive games. Toronto is 24-8 straight up this season when he accomplishes that feat.

 

Betting Analysis
Toronto dribbled out of Atlanta with a 96-86 win in the teams' only meeting this season and are 3-1 straight up and ATS over their last four meetings. But the venue has shifted and the weather is warmer than it was back in December and so too are the Atlanta Hawks. Yet the Hawks' road record is a middling 17-16 both straight up and against the number. Conversely the Raptors have thrived at home with a 24-7 record but a far less impressive 16-15 ATS mark.

The Hawks are 4-0 ATS in their last four contests following a win and 6-0 against the number in their last six games overall. Meanwhile Toronto has covered in only one of their last five games and owns a 1-4 ATS mark in their last five games after a win.

It is difficult to bet against the Raptors at home when you consider how successful they have been but this isn't about straight up wins, this game is about covering the number and Toronto has not been nearly as formidable in that regard. The bottom line is that the Hawks are rolling and a win in Toronto would make their road trip a smashing success that would see them winning four of five. Let's go with the hotter team getting the points.

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Free NBA Pick: Atlanta +4
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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