Hawks vs. 76ers Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers will face off for the second time in three days. However, this matchup will take place in Philadelphia.
Atlanta got the best of Philadelphia in the first matchup, winning 104-95 in what turned into its eighth win of the season. The loss was the 76ers seventh of the year. Philadelphia sits in 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 5-7 record.
Philadelphia has come out of the gates rather slowly to begin the season, but this game will be the first of a five-game home stand for the 76ers and will provide them a great opportunity to flip the script.
Defense has been the name of the game for Atlanta, which is a total change in philosophy from a season ago.
Last season, the Hawks often found themselves in shootouts. As a result, the Hawks had the second highest Offensive Rating in the NBA at 115.4, but their Defensive Rating (113.7) ranked 26th and was by far their largest weakness.
However, it appears Atlanta has patched up many of its holes on the defensive end of the floor, which has subsequently made the Hawks look like a contender in the early going.
The Hawks enter this matchup with a Defensive Rating of 109.7, which ranks 10th in the NBA through 12 games. What’s more, that rating has improved even further, to 101.6 over the past three games.
The defensive turnaround is truly something to behold and the offseason acquisition of Dejounte Murray is a large part of that turnaround. Murray comes into this matchup with an average stat line of 21.6/6.2/8.1, but perhaps most impressive is that he is averaging 2.2 steals per game and has been a massive presence on the defensive end of the floor.
Combine Murray with John Collins, Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu on the interior and it should come as no surprise that Atlanta is holding opponents to just 44.7% from the floor and 32.7% from three this season.
Philadelphia will once again be without James Harden, which has proven to be a massive blow to this offense.
Harden has missed the past three games and Philadelphia has scored just 99.67 points per game during that stretch. Prior to Harden’s absence, the 76ers owned the fourth best Offensive Rating in the NBA at 115.6. However, that rating has since fallen to 99.3, a mark that ranks dead last in the NBA.
Harden’s absence has clearly impacted the 76ers on the offensive end, but there are a few more factors that have contributed to the offensive struggles.
Perhaps the largest factor is the pace of play. Philadelphia ranks 29th in the NBA in Pace, generating just 96.92 offensive possessions per game. The 76ers simply haven’t been giving themselves many chances to score and have essentially forced themselves into a playing style that allows for very few mistakes. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is shooting just 46.2% from the field (20th) and has been from perfect on offense.
Philadelphia’s inefficiencies, combined with a lack of playmaking has dug the 76ers into a hole to start the year. I’m not sure this game will be the game in which they begin to crawl out.
It’s rare we see the same matchup occur just two days apart, but I think it provides a great opportunity to back the Hawks once again.
Even with Joel Embiid back in the lineup, Atlanta has much more talent on the floor. Tyrese Maxey can obviously pack a punch on the offensive end, but we saw him struggle in Thursday’s game against Atlanta, when he scored 15 points and shot just 5-of-17 from the floor.
That leaves Tobias Harris as the next scoring option behind Embiid, but he scored just 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting Thursday and fell victim to an excellent defense.
Simply put, the Hawks have the upper hand on the defensive end and are more than capable of holding a struggling 76ers team in check. The Hawks also have just as much, if not more, offensive talent and we’ve seen them score at will this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Atlanta go up 2-0 in the season series, but I’ll take the points.
Pick: Hawks +3.5 (-110)