The "Spurs of the East" (Atlanta Hawks) take on the real San Antonio Spurs this afternoon in what should be a tremendous matchup. What kind of NBA betting odds are out there for this one?
San Antonio Spurs vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks have opened up on Sunday's NBA odds as 1.5-point favorites and that spread seems to be holding steady across all the major sportsbooks. Atlanta is quoted at -115 on the moneyline, with San Antonio available for backing at +105 or so.
We see an O/U of 203 on the board right now, with both teams ranking in the top 11 in terms of points scored per game. However, both teams are also ranked in the top nine on the defensive end of the court, so it's going to be interesting to see what kind of tempo and offensive execution we'll see this afternoon.
Following a three-game winning streak that had pushed the Hawks to 53-14, they've since gone on to lose back-to-back games on the road. They first got crushed inside Oracle Arena by Stephen Curry and the Warriors, and then lost by eight to the Thunder a couple days later.
It's been a rough little spell for Atlanta on the defensive end of the court, as they surrendered at least 114 points in each defeat. Against Oklahoma City, the Hawks had no answer for Russell Westbrook (no one really does), but they also let Steven Adams and Dion Waiters go off against them, and that's not going to cut it. Atlanta shot over 50 percent themselves but really disappointed defensively, leading to the second straight loss.
The Hawks need to right the ship again, but it's not going to be easy whatsoever against the Spurs. On the injury front, Thabo Sefolosha remains out for Atlanta, while Kyle Korver is currently listed as questionable. Getting Korver back in the mix will be a big-time boost, as he spaces the floor better than anyone in the NBA. That being said, the Hawks have a huge cushion in the Eastern Conference, so they don't need to take any chances with their assets.
San Antonio Spurs
It wasn't long ago that we witnessed the biggest upset in the NBA this season, as the Spurs fell to the Knicks in overtime inside Madison Square Garden. It was an awful performance from San Antonio and head coach Gregg Popovich made sure his players knew it.
Well, the response has been a lot better, as the Spurs beat Milwaukee 114-103 the next day and then took care of Boston in a 101-89 win at home on Friday. That's improved San Antonio to 43-25 overall, which has them in the sixth seed in the Western Conference, though Dallas has an idential record at this point in time.
The Spurs, unlike last season, don't really have the luxury of resting guys this time around, as they need every win they can get. With that said, we don't expect any surprises from Popovich this afternoon.
Many will be licking their chops at the chance to back the Hawks at such a short number at home, but we're going the other way with our NBA picks.
The Spurs have responded nicely since that embarrassing loss to the Knicks, winning each of their recent games by double digits. That loss to New York was the kick in the teeth they needed, and we look for them to go on a run here to close out the regular season ahead of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Hawks having dropped back-to-back games, and we're going to stay away until they get back on the winning side of the equation. Though Atlanta has emerged as a top dog this season, San Antonio brings a ton of experienced and know-how to the table, and we believe that will be the guiding force to a big road win.
NBA Pick: San Antonio Spurs +1.5 at 5Dimes