Warriors vs. Hawks Preview: Atlanta Has Edge at Home

Can the Warriors pull off another road upset without Steph Curry, or will the Hawks take care of business at home? Action Network analyst Austin Wang previews the game.

Warriors vs. Hawks Odds

Warriors Odds +2.5
Hawks Odds -2.5
Over/Under 221.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Atlanta Hawks have been wading through mediocrity this entire season. They are currently below .500 with a 36-37 record and still clinging onto that 10th seed in the crowded Eastern Conference.

They will be hosting the Golden State Warriors, fresh off a surprising win against the top seed in the Eastern Conference Miami Heat without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Yikes.

The Hawks have opened up as short favorites at home. Can they make a late season surge to secure a better playoff seeding? Let’s dive into this inter-conference matchup below.

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Warriors Getting Key Pieces Back, But Steph Remains Out

The biggest name on the injury report is Stephen Curry, who is battling a foot injury and will be re-evaluated in another week.  The Warriors are 3-6 straight up and against the spread without their star guard. They should have Thompson and Green back into the lineup.

The Warriors are still the third seed and are three games ahead of both the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks. That cushion can evaporate quickly if the Warriors lose a few in a row.

One piece of good news is Andre Iguodala has been upgraded to questionable for the Warriors tomorrow in Atlanta. He’s missed the last 19 games and will have a minutes restriction off the bench, but it will be good to have his veteran presence to give them some extra depth.

Golden State’s young players stepped up against the Heat. Jordan Poole dropped 30 points while Jonathan Kuminga, Damion Lee and Andrew Wiggins all scored 20-plus.

The Warriors’ home/away splits vary greatly. The Warriors are first in Net Rating at home, but they fall to 11th in Net Rating on the road. They do not perform well away from the Chase Center.

Hawks Continue Struggling on Defense

The Hawks surprised the league last season with a late-season surge and an impressive run to the Eastern Conference Finals, giving eventual champion Milwaukee a run for its money. They completely outperformed expectations and established themselves as a team to be feared going forward.

Or so we thought.

The Hawks are currently below .500 and  in the 10th seed, which would squeeze them into the final play-in spot. While that spot looks secure, they need to make a strong push to move into the ninth spot to get homecourt advantage in a potential ninth seed vs. tenth seed game.

Scoring hasn’t been the issue, either. Atlanta’s Offensive Rating is third (114.3) in the league, per NBA Advanced Stats. However, their Defensive Rating is 26th (113.7) and they’ve been letting teams walk all over them.

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They had another disappointing outright loss to the Pistons in their last game. They have failed to cover in nine of their previous 11 games. The market continues to overvalue this team and they consistently fall short.

The bad news is John Collins (right ring finger sprain/right foot strain) is out for another game dealing with a couple of injuries. On the other hand, the Hawks expect Bogdan Bogdanovic, Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari back, which will help bring back three solid scoring options.

The Hawks have much better splits at home, ranking 12th in Net Rating at home and 18th on the road. They are 23-14 straight up and 19-18 against the spread at home, but 13-23 SU and 12-23-1 ATS on the road, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog.

Warriors-Hawks Pick

I am rolling with the Atlanta Hawks to take care of business at home, where they have excelled. Each team’s home/away splits show the Hawks are better at home and the Warriors are worse on the road. The Hawks are more motivated to finish strong and keep pushing towards that ninth seed in the East.

I foresee a letdown spot for the Warriors after their gutsy win against the Heat and a bounce back for the Hawks after an ugly loss against the Pistons. With Curry out, I think the Warriors will have trouble keeping up with the Hawks. Bet this at -2.5 and up to -3 if it gets there.

Pick: Hawks -2.5 (up to -3)