Hawks vs. Heat Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Heat host the Hawks in Game 2 of their first-round matchup in the NBA Playoffs. The Hawks will look to bounce back after being blown out, 115-91, on Sunday in Game 1.
Sharpshooting Duncan Robinson, who lost his starting job down the stretch for Miami, surprisingly led all scorers with 27 points while going 9-of-10 from the floor, including an absurd 8-of-9 on 3-pointers.
Several key players — like Trae Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic — struggled mightily for the Hawks. However, there was a silver lining: John Collins played in his first game since March 11th and scored 10 points in 21 minutes.
Will the Hawks bounce back from a brutal loss in Game 1 despite being seven-point underdogs in Game 2, or will the Heat take a commanding 2-0 lead on Tuesday?
Can Young and Bogdanovic Bounce Back for the Hawks?
If the Hawks want to win outright or cover in Game 2, they need Young and Bogdanovic to have efficient performances on high volume, a much improved defensive performance and better shooting variance luck on 3s.
In Game 1, Young was held in check, as his eight points were a season-low on just 1-of-12 shooting from the field, including 0-of-7 on 3s. Young also struggled as a facilitator, as he had just four assists and six total turnovers.
Bogdanovic also had a rough game for the Hawks, as he scored just six points and missed all eight of his shots from the floor, including 0-of-4 on 3s.
These two need to be efficient on their 3-point shots or the Heat will continue to get long rebounds and consequently, transition opportunities on the other end of the court, which led to high-quality shots.
If Young doesn’t have a huge scoring night, he at least needs to set up his teammates with great looks much more often than he did on Sunday.
The Hawks’ defense needs to improve significantly, and limiting turnovers (they had 18 in Game 1) will go a long way toward making the Heat execute in the half-court instead of in transition.
The Hawks also were on the wrong end of shooting variance on Sunday, as they shot 27.8% on 3s while the Heat shot 47.4%.
The Heat certainly got better looks than the Hawks did, but variance also went Miami’s way. Via Second Spectrum, the Hawks had a 49% Expected Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) and recorded an Actual 45% eFG%. The Heat had a 52% Expected eFG% and recorded an Actual 63% eFG%.
The Hawks also were in a tough situational spot on Sunday, playing at 1 p.m. ET after taking the court Friday night in Cleveland. Hopefully for Hawks fans, the team will play with a higher level of urgency on Tuesday.
Collins and second-year big man Onyeka Okongwu will need to step up with Clint Capela remaining out with a knee injury.
Heat’s Switching Defense Thriving at Home
If the Heat win and cover the spread on Tuesday, it will be because their defense continues to hound Young and Bogdanovic while they play with good spacing and move the ball effectively on offense.
The Heat did a tremendous job of switching — with their plethora of versatile and high-IQ defenders — to prevent the Hawks from getting too much separation on the 3-point line.
This made life a nightmare for the Hawks offensively, and led to easy buckets on the other end. With bigs and forwards like Bam Adebayo, P.J. Tucker, Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin, the Heat have the ability to switch everything when they want to, especially with Capela out.
The Heat communicated well and didn’t let the Hawks hunt mismatches successfully against the likes of Tyler Herro, Robinson and to a lesser degree, Max Strus. This will remain imperative for the rest of the series (and the playoffs).
Martin surprisingly only played five minutes in Game 1, but could be utilized more if they need more defense, especially against Young.
The Heat played with quality spacing offensively, as they continued to get good looks for shooters like Robinson on the perimeter (although he made some tough looks too).
The Hawks’ defense — which ranked 26th in Defensive Rating, excluding garbage time, per Cleaning The Glass — will break down too frequently and give up open 3s (like they did in Game 1) if the Heat’s offense has enough ball movement and spacing.
The Heat took advantage of Young’s poor off-ball defense, which led to open shots.
After the Heat blew out the Hawks in Game 1 while having home court advantage and a significant rest advantage, Atlanta should play more inspired basketball in this spot after having its pride ripped away from it.
While I think the spread is properly priced at Heat -7, there will be live betting opportunities with the high-variance, high-volume 3-point style of basketball on display. I may target a live bet on the Heat at -4 or better if the Hawks take a lead early.
However, the best value in this game lies in a player prop.
With the Heat playing such a switch-heavy scheme — especially when Young is on the court — expect Adebayo to be further away from the basket than normal. They will want to utilize his freakish combination of size, speed and defensive smarts.
With Capela’s incredible rebounding absent, there is even less of a need for Adebayo to be by the rim than normal against this Hawks team.
The Heat have played a similar defensive scheme in all three of their matchups vs. the Hawks when Adebayo has played. In each of those games, Adebayo recorded exactly six rebounds (including in Game 1) while playing 34, 33 and 28 minutes.
Expect Adebayo to play closer to 38 minutes on Tuesday (this game should be more competitive), but there is still value in him hauling in fewer than 9.5 rebounds.
Pick: Bam Adebayo Under 9.5 Rebounds (+100, BetMGM)