NBA Betting – Atlanta Hawks to make Last Stand at Philadelphia Saturday Night
Written by North Shore Sports, INC
Pecking order for the playoffs will be on the line at Bookmaker Sportsbook Saturday night when the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers engage in NBA betting warfare for the final time in the regular season.
The Atlanta Hawks (30-22, 26-24-2 ATS) will look to improve upon their solid record unrested on Saturday, March 31st when they invade the Wells Fargo Center to battle the Philadelphia 76ers (28-22, 26-23-1 ATS) in the team’s regular season finale; tip-off is slated for 7:30 ET on NBA League Pass.
A fifth straight trip to the postseason looks to certainly be in the cards for the Atlanta Hawks, but if they’re to advance further than the Conference Semifinals this time around, it would come as quite the surprise. Coach Larry Drew’s squad has been forced to once again deal with a myriad of injuries to its star players – Al Horford & Joe Johnson – and the team really didn’t improve itself much from the squad that Chicago knocked out of the playoffs in six games last season. While the Hawks have done a decent job being competitive in the Southeast Division, just getting by isn’t what playing this game is all about.
To prove just how average Atlanta is, just take a look at their record versus the Sagarin Ratings Top 10 teams – its 7-11 SU. If you increase the coverage to the Top 16, it gets worse at 9-14 SU. So, the only reason Atlanta has been a winning NBA betting investment this season is because it’s taken advantage of its weaker opposition. As evidence, just take a look at what the Chicago Bulls did to them without Derrick Rose their last time out. Chicago is Sagarin’s #1 ranked team, and they simply toyed with the Hawks winning 98-77 as four-point road chalk. The loss was the team’s second in a row, and they’ll head to Philly a night after hosting the red hot Knicks – Atlanta’s 10-6 SU & an impressive 11-4-1 ATS when playing unrested on the year.
The Atlantic Division was there for the taking for Head Coach Doug Collins’s young 76ers this season with the Celtics showing their age and the Knicks an unknown commodity. Philly got out to a tremendous start to their 2011-12 campaign, and even held a comfortable lead atop the standings for most of the season. That lead however has since evaporated, as they’ll head into Friday night’s road clash versus dreadful Washington tied with the Celtics and only 2.5-games ahead of New York for the division lead.
Since the All Star break, Philadelphia has split its 16 games played right down the middle both straight up and versus the closing number. They did bounce back from the embarrassing 93-76 home loss they suffered against San Antonio by taking their frustrations out on the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the SU & ATS triumphs were only the fifth respectively in their L/10 games played. Like tonight’s opponent, the Sixers have struggled against top tier opposition winning just four of their 16 games played versus Sagarin’s Top 10 teams. They have however been their best as a host where they stand 18-10 SU & 17-11 ATS on the year.
NBA Betting Pick: Philadelphia has flat out dominated its recent rivalry with Atlanta winning each of its L/4 and six of the L/10 overall meetings (7-3 ATS). The Sixers scored the 90-76 home win and cover in these team’s first meeting back in late January, and followed it up with a 98-87 road win and cover in the second go round as 2.5-point underdogs. However, with the possibility of these teams meeting in the playoffs, we expect the Hawks to throw everything – including the kitchen sink – at the Sixers in an attempt to withstand the regular season sweep. The Hawks have been stellar investments on no rest all season long, while the Sixers check in just 7-6 SU & ATS in that role to date.
So will the Hawks avoid the embarrassment of getting swept in the regular season by Philadelphia, or will the Sixers continue their recent NBA betting success versus Atlanta? Whichever side of the line you toe, take your action over to Bookmaker Sportsbook and be confident in knowing you’ll be playing into some of the most competitive lines in the business!
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