Atlanta (9-9 straight up, 10-8 against the spread) has played a good chunk of this season with at least 3-4 key players missing. Kris Dunn still hasn’t made his season debut and Bogdan Bogdanovic (9.9 points per game) isn’t expected back from a knee injury for another month or so.
However, other than those absences and veteran point guard Rajon Rondo being listed as ‘questionable’ in tonight’s game at Washington, the Hawks are as close to full strength as they’ve been all year.
Atlanta is 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS in its last six games. The lone defeats came at Milwaukee (when Trae Young and Clint Capela were ‘out’ with injuries) and vs. Brooklyn (132-128 in overtime).
Lloyd Pierce’s team has shown it has the potential to be a tough out if makes the Eastern Conference Playoffs, especially in its three head-to-head matchups with the Nets. In the first meeting at Brooklyn on Jan. 30, Atlanta led for most of the game before dropping a 145-141 decision. Danilo Gallinari was off to a good start in that game, scoring five points on 2-for-2 shooting in the first three minutes before spraining his ankle.
Two nights later, Atlanta trounced the Nets 114-96 as a 6.5-point road underdog without Gallinari and Rondo. The Hawks are 3-0 ATS in three games vs. Brooklyn, taking the cash in this week’s overtime loss as six-point home underdogs.
Washington (3-11 SU, 6-8 ATS) has lost three consecutive games both SU and ATS, losing by margins of 18, 19 and 20 points to the Pelicans, Spurs and Rockets. The Wizards are without a lot of personnel, including Thomas Bryant (14.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game), Rui Hachimura (13.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG), Deni Avdija (7.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG & 1.0 SPG), Mo Wagner (6.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG) and Ish Smith (5.9 PPG, 4.0 APG).
Furthermore, Washington has lost five of its six home games while limping to a 2-4 ATS mark. Meanwhile, Atlanta is 4-5 SU and 5-4 ATS in nine road assignments.
I’m a big fan of the Hawks -3.5 tonight!