Upset Alert! Outrageous Prices Surrounding Nets vs. Hawks Suggest Playing the Money Line as Top NBA Pick

Jason Lake

Saturday, April 4, 2015 4:05 PM GMT

The way the Brooklyn Nets are beating the NBA odds right now, they’re worth a flyer on the moneyline in Saturday’s matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, who’ve lost five of their last eight games.

Jason’s record as of Apr. 2: 64-65-5 ATS, 7-11 Totals, plus-1.15 units ML

 

Mikhail Prokhorov didn’t spend all that money for nothing. The Brooklyn Nets went into the 2013-14 NBA season looking like Eastern Conference contenders on their nine-figure payroll. Things didn’t quite work out, but the Nets did make it to the second round of the playoffs. Now they’re in a dogfight just to get back into the postseason – and it’s a fight they’re winning. Brooklyn upped its win streak to six games Friday night by beating the Toronto Raptors 114-109 as 2-point favorites, moving into seventh place in the East at press time.

A little further up the standings, you’ll find the Atlanta Hawks perched atop the conference with the No. 1 seed already locked down. They’re pretty much everything the Nets aren’t, in terms of market size, name recognition and ownership largesse. They’ve also lost five of their last eight SU and ATS. This looks like a good time to unleash our weekly Upset Special; the Nets are priced at a very tasty +400 on the moneyline for Saturday’s matchup (7:30 p.m. ET, YES) with Atlanta, and this makes them our NBA pick.

 

Young MC
Two of the reasons people were so enthusiastic about Brooklyn’s chances last year were Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. They brought a championship pedigree to the Nets in their first year at Barclays. So did head coach Jason Kidd, for that matter. But after an up-and-down inaugural season in Brooklyn, Kidd ended up with the Milwaukee Bucks following a failed power play, and Pierce took his talents to the Washington Wizards. People weren’t enthusiastic anymore.

The Nets (35-40 SU, 36-37-2 ATS) didn’t exactly set the world on fire to start the 2014-15 campaign, either. But when healthy, they’ve got enough veteran talent under Lionel Hollins to compete in the East. And they added to their talent at the trade deadline by sending Garnett (14.8 PER, minus-0.4 BPM) to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Thaddeus Young (16.6 PER, 0.0 BPM). That’s an upgrade at this point in Garnett’s career.

Young turned out to be a key force in Brooklyn’s come-from-behind win over the Raptors. After Toronto lost Amir Johnson to injury in the third quarter ahead 60-53, the Nets turned up the juice; Young scored 14 points the rest of the way, including the winning bucket, to finish the night with 29 points, six rebounds and four steals. Brook Lopez (22.0 PER, minus-0.5 BPM) added 30 points and 17 boards against Toronto’s overmatched frontline.

Maximize your profit with these three underdog NBA picks we have for you!

A New Daye
So which frontcourt players will the Hawks (56-19 SU, 46-28-1 ATS) trot out on Saturday? They were planning on resting some starters down the stretch, but surprisingly, all five were on the court Tuesday night for a road game against the Detroit Pistons. Detroit still won 105-95 as a 2-point home dog. Andre Drummond cut through the Hawks like a hot chainsaw through butter, dropping 22 points and 13 rebounds – including six on the offensive glass.

Atlanta’s been idle since then, so maybe we’ll see some more of Al Horford (20.9 PER, plus-3.6 BPM) and Paul Millsap (20.1 PER, plus-4.2 BPM). We might even see Mike Scott (15.2 PER, minus-1.7 BPM), who’s missed 11 games with a toe injury and is considered questionable to face the Nets after putting in a full practice Friday.

Or maybe we’ll end up seeing Austin Daye (11.7 career PER, minus-2.6 BPM). He’s reportedly on the verge of signing a two-year contract, which is pretty impressive for someone whom Atlanta picked up on a pair of 10-day deals last month. It’d be swell if the Hawks decided to sit some of their bigs and let Daye do his thing, but then again, would the Nets still be available at over +400 on the NBA odds if they did?

Free NBA Pick: Take the Nets

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