76ers vs. Hawks Preview: Philly Should Pick Up Road Win

Joe Dellera previews Friday's NBA game between the 76ers and Hawks, including betting odds and a prediction.

76ers vs. Hawks Odds

76ers Odds +1.5
Hawks Odds -1.5
Over/Under 213.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The 76ers head to Atlanta in a rematch of the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals. While this matchup is a bit different due to the absence of Ben Simmons, it should be an exciting game between these two teams with playoff aspirations.

76ers Finally Starting To Get Healthy

The 76ers enter this matchup relatively healthy which is different from the majority of the last month. While they lost a slugfest to the Celtics, it was good to see the team almost fully intact.

The 76ers have struggled recently on the offensive side of the ball. They’re scoring just 105.6 points per 100 possessions over the last two weeks, per Cleaning the Glass. However, they’ve been able to break through against bottom-tier defenses. When they’ve played teams in the Bottom 10 in defensive points allowed per 100 possessions, the 76ers are 7-2 while scoring 114.8 points per 100.

When these two teams met on October 30th, the 76ers dominated the matchup and scored 122 points while allowing just 94. They were able to spread the offensive burden around and six different players scored in double figures. This was despite losing the rebound battle 49-37 (which may have partially been due to Joel Embiid’s knee).

The 76ers will need to bring this energy and continue attacking the Hawks in transition to build an edge in this contest.

Hawks Must Exploit Philly’s Weaknesses

The Atlanta Hawks will be without De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic for tonight’s game, and Cam Reddish (wrist) is questionable. If Reddish is unable to play, expect more minutes for Kevin Huerter and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot.

The Hawks have an excellent offense led by Trae Young. They score the fourth-most points per 100 possessions (113.4) and they have the ninth-best eFG% (53.5%), per Cleaning the Glass. However, the Hawks will miss some of their depth without Hunter, Bogdanovic, and possibly Reddish, which could make it more difficult to counter the 76ers’ size inside.

An issue for the Hawks is they score a large portion of their points from 2-point range — 53.7%, to be exact. Relative to the rest of the league, they rely heavily on the mid-range jumper and 11.9% of their points are from there. This is an area the 76ers defend extremely well.

The 76ers have the third-best mid-range defense and allow just a 37.8% field goal percentage on those shots. Atlanta needs to space the floor and exploit the 76ers’ weaker 3-point defense (36.1% allowed), which is an area they’ve struggled to defend without the length and quickness of Simmons.

76ers-Hawks Pick

This should be a tightly contested game between the Hawks and the 76ers. While the Hawks are at home, I think they may be getting too much respect due to their 8-2 record over their last 10 contests. While they’ve defeated some playoff-caliber teams, this is buoyed by wins against the Thunder, Spurs, Magic, Pacers and Grizzlies (when Ja Morant got hurt).

On the flip side, the 76ers lost a nail-biter to the Timberwolves (who are much better than credited), allowed the Magic to cover the spread, and then lost a one-point thriller to the Celtics. This team is underrated. While the 76ers have a point differential of +2.1 on the season, this spikes to +7.2 when Embiid is on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass.

I’ll back the 76ers to take care of business on the road and would play it down to a pick’em.

Pick: 76ers +1.5