The Atlanta Hawks play host to the New York Knicks at 1:05 p.m. Eastern today on ABC. The Hawks are looking to take a 3-1 series lead in Game 4.
Nate McMillan’s club has won 12 home games in a row at State Farm Arena, cashing tickets at a 10-2 against the spread clip. As of late this morning, most betting shops had Atlanta installed as a 4.5-point favorite.
There are a few spots that have moved the Hawks to five-point ‘chalk.’ Either way, I recommend Atlanta laying the reasonable number.
With the exception of the last few minutes of the third quarter and the final stanza of Game 2, Atlanta has clearly looked like the better team in the first three game of this opening-round series. The Hawks took a double-digit lead late in the second quarter of Friday’s Game 3 and coasted to a 105-94 win that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
McMillan’s bunch covered the number as a 4.5-point home favorite. Trae Young paced seven players in double figures with 21 points and 14 assists compared to just two turnovers.
Bogdan Bogdanovic drained 3-of-4 attempts from 3-point land and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists with only one turnover. After going scoreless in Game 2 when he was saddled with foul troubled and limited to only 14 minutes of playing time, John Collins bounced back to contribute 14 points, six rebounds and two assists without a turnover.
Clint Capela added 13 points, 10 boards, two assists and a pair of blocked shots. Danilo Gallinari buried all four of his launches from 3-point land in a 12-point effort.
Julius Randle had a third straight disappointing performance for the Knicks. The NBA’s Most Improved Player was limited to 14 points on 2-of-15 shooting from the field.
For the series, Randle has made just 13-of-54 field-goal attempts, which amounts to an abysmal 24.0 FG percentage.
Not only have the Hawks won 12 home games in a row, but they’re 20-2 straight up and 18-4 ATS in their last 22 home games.
The only fear I have is the referees. In Game 3, New York was sent to the free-throw line 30 times. As for Atlanta, it was sent to the charity stripe merely eight times.
And the Hawks still won by double digits. They’re poised to take a 3-1 series lead and cover the number before the best-of-seven set shifts back to MSG in NYC.
The Pick: Atlanta -4.5