Hawks vs. Pistons Betting Preview: Count on Atlanta's Backcourt

Action Network analyst Joe Dellera provides odds, a preview and a prediction for the NBA matchup between the Hawks vs. Pistons.

Hawks vs. Pistons Odds

Hawks Odds -7
Pistons Odds +7
Over/Under 229 (-110 / -110)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Atlanta Hawks head to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Pistons, who will be playing their second game in as many days.

Can the Hawks’ dynamic backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray take care of a young Pistons team?

Let’s break it down.

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Hawks’ Backcourt to Dominate

The Hawks made waves this offseason when they traded a plethora of picks to the San Antonio Spurs to acquire rising star Murray to pair with Young. They were hoping they could become one of the most explosive offenses in the league.

Instead, they are scoring a paltry 108.2 points per 100 possessions and struggled to defeat the Rockets and Magic. They also fell on Sunday to the Hornets, who were missing their top scoring threats in Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball.

One wrinkle for the Hawks is that Murray has helped sure up the perimeter defense. He is an excellent defender, and when you couple him with De’Andre Hunter on the perimeter, their length causes an array of difficulties for opponents while masking some of the defensive inefficiencies of Young.

They’ve essentially switched out all of their offensive bench players for stronger defensive-minded players.

Plus with Clint Capela and Okongwu Okongwu on the interior, it is no surprise they are allowing just 107.9 points per 100 possessions on defense.

Back to the offense, it’s difficult to say that we should expect some positive regression for the Hawks, though. While their actual eFG% is just 50.2%, their expected eFG% is 52.4% — both marks rank 25th in the league.

However, one remedy for a poor start to the season is facing a team that has the third-worst expected allowed eFG%.

But besides a good matchup against a relatively weak Detroit defense, a true shot profile perspective is a breakdown of what this offense is actually doing.

The Hawks are running a ton of two-guard action with Young and Murray, with varying levels of complexity between curl cuts, staggered screens and horns.

This is explained well at length by Mat Issa, but in a nutshell, in order to optimize both Trae and Dejounte, the offense needs to be complicated to give them the same opportunities to get downhill so they can drive, score, and facilitate.

This is what puts an immense strain on the defense.

With that in mind, these two should be able to make short work of this inexperienced Pistons’ backcourt.

Sky is Limit for Pistons?

The Pistons are playing their second game in as many days and just had to travel from Washington D.C. back to Detroit.

Alec Burks and Marvin Bagley III have both missed time, and it’s unlikely that either plays in this game, which impacts their veteran leadership and depth.

The Pistons picked up some steam prior to the season as a “dark-horse team” that could surprise and potentially contend for the Play-In thanks to their talented young core.

They took care of business against the Magic on opening night, but have since lost to the Knicks and Pacers.

Their young core of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren can only be held down by how many minutes Dwane Casey continues to give to Killian Hayes.

But in all seriousness, the sky is the limit for this talented young squad.

However, they have much to improve at the moment — namely, their defense is rough.

At the time of this writing, the Pistons are allowing a eFG% of 56.0%, the third-worst in the league. Their opponents are getting to the rim with ease and their eighth-worst Defensive Rebounding Percentage exacerbates this flaw.

Opponents are getting multiple shots at the basket from high-percentage areas.

Hawks-Pistons Pick

This is the first game of a mini-series for the Hawks and Pistons, who will repeat this matchup on Friday.

This is a spot where I will be backing the Hawks.

They have a superior offense led by Young and Murray, who will use their playmaking skills to dominate this game and control the pace. Additionally, their improved defense will force turnovers and disrupt the Pistons’ young offense.

Lay the points and take the Hawks.

Pick: Hawks -7 (Click here to seamlessly add this pick to your bet slip with QuickSlip!)