Playoffs Zig-Zag Theory Applicable in Game 2 of Hawks-Wizards

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 6:12 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017 6:12 PM UTC

Do you want to make a wager on Wednesday’s NBA playoff game between Atlanta/Washington and are on the fence regarding which way to go? Then reading this betting preview article pertaining to this matchup by NBA handicapping professional Ross Benjamin is imperative.

Atlanta Hawks At Washington Wizards (-5.5, 211)

Atlanta and Washington will play Game 2 of their best of 7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series Wednesday. The opening tip from the Verizon Center in Washington is slated 7:05, and it will be televised on NBATV. At the time of this writing, NBA betting odds had Washington as either a 5.0 or 5.5-point favorite. There was also a posted total of 210.5 or 211.0.

Including the playoffs, Washington has gone 4-1 straight up and 3-2 ATS against Atlanta this season. As a matter of fact, the Wizards have won 4 straight against their Southeast Division rival.


Series Opener Betting News & Notes

Washington won the opening game of the series Sunday by a score of 114-107. The Wizards covered as a 5.5-point home favorite and Game 1 went 'over' the total of 209.5. Washington has now gone an outstanding 26-5 straight up and 20-11 ATS in its last 31 home games.

Atlanta was plagued by 19 turnovers on Sunday, and it was a major reason why Washington had 22 more field-goal attempts. On a positive note for the Hawks, they got to the free throw line a whopping 39 times and held a decisive 60-47 rebounding edge in Game 1.


No. 5 Seed Vs. No. 4 Recent History

Despite No. 5 Atlanta losing the opening game of the series, fifth seeds have gone a stellar 31-16 against No. 4 seeds during NBA playoffs' first round-games since 2013. Also of note: No. 5 Utah won on Sunday against the No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers in Western Conference playoff action.


Final Analysis & Prediction

Washington had 100 field goal attempts to Atlanta’s 78 in Game 1, yet won by only 7 and barely covered in doing so. I don’t expect anywhere near that field-goal attempt disparity in Game 2.

Atlanta’s parade to the free-throw line against Washington wasn’t a total shocker. The Hawks have now averaged 32.3 free throws per game against Washington in the last 4 meetings. They may not reach 39 free throws again in Game 2, but will still approach 30 attempts or more.

I’m predicting this game will go down to the wire, and one of my NBA picks will be reflective of that forecast.

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